DOJ: Trump SoHo hotel exit 'undermines' emoluments lawsuit

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 25, 2017

The Trump Organization is ending its licensing deal with the Trump SoHo hotel in NY amid reports that the property has struggled to attract business.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argues foreign governments looking for an in at the White House spend freely at Trump's hotels and restaurants.

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The decision to reach a buyout deal on the Trump SoHo property was made by Eric and Donald Trump, Jr., sons of President Donald Trump, along with a small group of senior executives, the newspaper reported, citing company officials.

"This development undermines the hospitality plaintiffs' reliance on alleged competition with the Trump SoHo to demonstrate standing", or legal authority to sue, the Justice Department said in a letter to U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan.

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request to comment. It alleges that Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause by maintaining his ownership of the Trump Organization while serving as President.

That clause bars US officials from accepting various gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval and is created to thwart corruption and improper influence.

As with numerous Trump Organization's ventures, Trump does not own the hotel.

The Justice Department has countered that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit can not prove damages from the allegations.

The original complaint was filed three days after Trump entered the White House, in one of the earliest legal challenges to his presidential authority.

An upmarket New York City hotel is dropping Trump from its name.

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