As a federal judge in Maryland planned to the open discovery process in an emoluments case involving Donald Trump, the government sought to advance an “unusual” appeal to halt the case from moving forward, according to Politico.
Attorneys for Trump had appealed several rulings that went against Trump in a lawsuit brought by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia charging that Trump is violating two provisions in the Constitution by profiting off his luxury hotel in Washington.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte had expected to order the beginning of the discovery process in the suit Monday, but on Friday the Justice Department told Messitte it that would petition the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the case from moving forward.
On Monday, Trump’s lawyers appealed those rulings using “a rarely invoked process” that is intended to stop rogue judges from pursuing a line of legal reasoning that is deemed improper. In their request for what’s known as a “status conference,” Trump’s lawyers argued that he is “entitled to absolute immunity” as pr*sident and allowing discovery to move forward would violate that immunity.
“In sum, the President will suffer the very burdens from which absolute immunity is supposed to shield him,” wrote Trump’s lawyers, in an appeal that was reportedly approved by the solicitor general of the United States.
Lawyers who brought the lawsuit are seeking to begin a six-month discovery process, which would allow them to depose witnesses, seek records relevant to the case, and perhaps even depose Trump, though they promised to pursue other avenues of information first.
Similar lawsuits emanating from New York and Washington are also working their way through the legal system.
UPDATE: Trump lost… discovery will move forward in the DC/MD emoluments lawsuit, says judge.
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