Federal Court Smacks Down CREW
The misnamed Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) poses as a nonpartisan government watchdog, but it’s really functioned as a left wing-funded attack dog against Republicans over the past decade. This year, CREW has dialed it up going after the Trump Administration. Earlier this year, CREW sued the President under the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the President from receiving gifts from foreign states.
CREW argued that Trump’s business ties violated this because foreign entities have leased space in Trump Tower in New York. But federal judge George Daniels—a Bill Clinton appointee—wasn’t buying what CREW was peddling, saying the matter was for Congress, not the courts. “If Congress determines that an infringement has occurred, it is up to Congress to decide whether to challenge or acquiesce to Defendant’s conduct. As such, this case presents a non-justiciable political question,” he ruled.
The judge also ruled that CREW’s claim to have even good cause to bring the suit was too weak. CREW argued that it was “injured” by having to expend resources investigating whether Trump violated the emoluments clause—but the judge brushed this aside, noting that CREW’s “entire reason for being is to investigate.”
Is it amateur hour at CREW? You’d think new CREW face Richard Painter, a former White House lawyer, would have realized the weakness of the lawsuit. Perhaps Painter has been spending too much time supplying a steady stream of Twitter rants about conspiracy theories.
If there’s one good thing to come of this, it’s the realization for CREW’s donors that the watchdog ate their money. Now, let’s hope all of the media who loved reporting about the case covers its dismissal with the same amount of gusto. We won’t be holding our breath.