The nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit against Donald J. Trump on January 23, 2017. CREW claims President Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments. The Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause prohibits a president from receiving anything of value from foreign governments and foreign government-owned businesses. Six lawyers on the CREW case include Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. Some of Tribe’s notable Harvard Law students include former President Barack Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Elena Kagan, and Senator Ted Cruz.
Tribe said: “I am enormously proud to be filing this lawsuit to stop President Trump from putting his continuing pursuit of personal wealth, and his willingness to serve the foreign interests that feed that wealth, ahead of the interests and needs of American citizens and watchdog organizations like CREW. It is already clear that nothing short of judicial force will end Trump’s flagrant disregard of the core barrier the Constitution’s Framers erected against presidential decisions driven by personal greed or by loyalty purchased from the President by the patronage of foreign powers.” The other lawyers on the case include Zephyr Teachout of Fordham Law School and Noah Bookbinder, former federal corruption prosecutor and current executive director of CREW.