Before the Trump presidency, few of us had any idea that there was such a thing as the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution. We now know that it exists, but we still aren’t quite sure what it means—or, at least, the courts aren’t yet sure. But there are three ongoing lawsuits against President Trump—in New York, Virginia, and D.C.—alleging that he is illegally profiting from his office through his family businesses in violation of this anti-corruption constitutional provision. Just last Friday, the Second Circuit revived the New York lawsuit, finding that the district court had improperly dismissed the case and ordering that it be allowed to proceed. This Thursday, we are lucky to be joined on campus by Richard Painter ’87 for a breakfast conversation about these cases. As a vice chair at Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), Mr. Painter was one of the lawyers who originated the lawsuit in New York on behalf of CREW and other plaintiffs. Please join us for a timely and interesting discussion.
Richard Painter has been the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School since 2007. From February 2005 to July 2007, he was associate counsel to the president in the White House Counsel’s office, serving as the chief ethics lawyer for the president, White House employees, and senior nominees to Senate-confirmed positions in the executive branch. He is a board member and vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as well as a founding board member of Take Back our Republic, a campaign finance reform organization. In 2018, Painter was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.