Lawsuit Over Trump’s Ties to His Businesses Is Allowed to Advance

Lawsuit Over Trump’s Ties to His Businesses Is Allowed to Advance

WASHINGTON — A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by refusing to divorce himself from his businesses cleared a critical hurdle Wednesday when a federal judge in Maryland refused the Justice Department’s plea to dismiss it.

In a 47-page opinion, Judge Peter J. Messitte rejected the federal government’s claims that the plaintiffs had not shown that they had suffered injuries that a court could address.

The suit, filed by Washington, D.C., and the State of Maryland, accuses Mr. Trump of violating constitutional anticorruption clauses intended to limit his receipt of government-bestowed benefits, or emoluments. The local jurisdictions claim that in hopes of currying presidential favor, government officials are patronizing Trump-owned properties instead of hotels or convention centers that the District of Columbia or Maryland own or have some financial interest in.

Although the case could still be thrown out on other grounds, the judge’s ruling adds to the president’s growing legal troubles.

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