NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A federal judge in New York voiced skepticism on Wednesday over whether the groups and individuals who allege that President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting foreign payments through his hotels and other businesses should be able to proceed with their lawsuit.
The lawsuit accused Trump of running afoul of the Constitution’s “emoluments” clause, which bars U.S. officials from accepting gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval, by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite ceding day-to-day control to his sons.
During a hearing on the Trump administration’s bid to have the case thrown out, U.S. District Judge George Daniels suggested the U.S. Congress might be better suited to resolve the dispute.
“They can make this an issue, but they have not done so,” Daniels said. “Why is it appropriate for the judiciary to have the president fight this out in a street brawl?”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in January after Trump took office, are the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a hotel owner, a hotel events booker and a restaurant trade group.
Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham