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Court sides with Trump administration in lawsuit over hotel profits

Richmond, Va. — A federal appeals court has ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing President Trump of illegally profiting off the presidency.

In a significant legal victory for Mr. Trump, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who said last year the lawsuit could move forward.

Maryland and the District of Columbia sued in 2017, claiming Mr. Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting profits through foreign and domestic officials who stay at his luxury Washington hotel.

The 4th Circuit found the two jurisdictions don't have the standing to pursue their claims against the president.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he had won "a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt."

"Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt. Unanimous decision in my favor from The United States Court of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit on the ridiculous Emoluments Case," Mr. Trump wrote in one of two tweets. "I don't make money, but lose a fortune for the honor of...serving and doing a great job as your President (including accepting Zero salary!)."

In a statement, DOJ spokesperson Kelly Laco said: "We are pleased that the Fourth Circuit unanimously decided to dismiss this extraordinarily flawed case. The court correctly determined that the plaintiffs improperly asked the courts to exceed their constitutional role by reviewing the President's compliance with the Emoluments Clauses."

Meanwhile, on Monday, Department of Justice lawyers challenged a federal judge's decision to allow a case accusing Mr. Trump of profiting off the presidency to move forward, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to instead allow for a mid-case appeal or to dismiss the case outright.

The government lawyers also want the court to suspend legal discovery recently approved by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, which would force Trump-related entities such as his New York and D.C. hotels, Trump Tower, the Trump Organization, and Mar-a-Lago Club to turn over business tax returns, receipts and other documents.

Among the judges who sit on that appeals court, includes chief judge is Merrick B. Garland, whose nomination by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court was not allowed to be heard by Republicans.

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