Rss@dailykos.com (laura Clawson) · Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 4:43 pm
The emoluments clause lawsuit against Donald Trump is getting two news plaintiffs who say they’ve potentially been harmed by Trump’s hotels getting business from foreign clients looking to suck up. The lawsuit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, had faced questions about standing, since the harm to CREW wasn’t clear. But the new plaintiffs address that issue.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United represents “over 25,000 restaurant workers, over 200 high-road employers, and thousands of engaged consumers united for raising restaurant industry standards,” and the group’s co-director, Saru Jayaraman, told the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell that “It’s damage to our members, both employers’ bottom lines, and workers’ loss of income and tips.” The other new plaintiff, Jill Phaneuf, is a commission-based contractor who books events for two hotels that could potentially be in competition for events that end up going to Trump’s hotel because of his public office.
“It’s not a free market, or a free country, when foreign governments feel like they have to eat and patronize Trump hotels and restaurants because he’s the president of the United States,” Jayaraman said. “I mean, that’s why the emoluments clause was written.” [...]
“I joined this lawsuit because the president is taking business away from me and others with unfair business practices that violate the Constitution,” Phaneuf said in a written statement. She declined to comment when asked if she could cite an example where a Trump hotel had taken her business away.
Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel faces a separate lawsuit from a local restaurant for unfair competition.