Harvard law prof joins suit challenging Trump's legitimacy

According to the suit, Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal office holders from accepting favors from foreign governments, because state actors can patronize Trump-owned businesses.

Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe has joined a legal team suing President Donald Trump for violating the Constitution by retaining ownership of the Trump Organization.

A Harvard Law professor is part of a legal team suing President Donald Trump for violating the Constitution by retaining ownership of the Trump Organization.

According to The Crimson, professor Laurence Tribe has joined a lawsuit that accuses President Trump of being in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, which prohibits anyone holding an office of “Profit or Trust” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

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The suit alleges that Trump is violating this clause by allowing representatives of foreign governments to stay at his hotels or rent space in his towers, arguing that although he has turned management of the business over to his sons, Trump remains the official owner.

“As long as he maintains ownership of this vast business empire that can be benefited financially in dozens and hundreds of ways by many countries that want to gain his favor, he hasn’t avoided the Emoluments Clause,” Tribe told The Crimson.

The lawsuit was filed January 23 in federal court, and Trump responded the same day by calling it “totally without merit.”

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Tribe, who was also one of 16 law school professors who signed a letter earlier this month opposing Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General, predicted that “there are likely to be quite a few lawsuits” against Trump, but asserted that “we’ve put together the strongest combination of plaintiffs and lawyers that we could imagine.”

Harvard has been a hotbed of anti-Trump energy in recent months, with even the Harvard Republicans refusing to endorse Trump, saying he is guilty of “racist slander” and “misogynistic taunts,” and calling him a “threat to the survival of the Republic.”

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On the same day that professor Tribe filed his suit, there was also an anti-Trump protest on campus organized by the Harvard Islamic Society and “Act on a Dream,” a group for students in the country illegally, and other student activists sent a petition to school officials calling for the university to “actively resist” the Trump administration.

Campus Reform reached out to Harvard for comment, but did not receive a response by press time.

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