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DOJ argues Congress can’t stop Trump Org from taking foreign payments — despite Constitution’s emoluments clause

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The so-called emoluments clause has been the center of a case that many legal scholars have been making that President Donald Trump is regularly violating the Constitution by continuing to accept payments from foreign governments via his businesses.

The Washington Post reports that an attorney from the Trump Department of Justice argued on Monday that the emoluments clause doesn’t actually prevent Trump from accepting payments from foreign governments, even though the clause specifically states that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

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“The only role that the Constitution gives Congress with respect to the foreign emoluments clause is to allow them,” DOJ attorney Hashim Mooppan argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

If Congress wants to prevent Trump from accepting such payments, Mooppan further argued, it would have to pass a law explicitly banning them.

Judge David S. Tatel, one of the three judges presiding over the hearing, expressed skepticism that Congress would have the information needed to write such a law since the president has refused to release his tax returns.

“How could Congress pass a law without knowing what the president is doing in respect to emoluments?” he asked.

Read the full report here.

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US ‘looking at’ banning TikTok and other Chinese apps: Pompeo

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is "looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, over allegations Beijing is using them to spy on users.

India has already barred the wildly popular TikTok app over national security and privacy concerns while other countries are reportedly mulling similar measures.

Asked on Monday by Fox News's Laura Ingraham if the US should consider blocking the apps -- "especially Tik Tok" -- the country's top diplomat said the Trump administration was "taking this very seriously; we are certainly looking at it."

Pompeo said the US had been working for a "long time" on the "problems" of Chinese technology in infrastructure and was "making real progress."

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2020 Election

Susan Collins had a 67% approval rating when Trump first took office — it’s collapsed to just 36% today

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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, trails leading Democratic challenger Sara Gideon by four points in her re-election race as her support continues to sag.

Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, leads Collins 46-42 in a new Public Policy Polling survey, which sampled more than 1,000 Maine voters and has a margin of error of 3.1%.

Gideon held a similar four-point lead in a PPP poll in March and edged out Collins by a single point in a Colby College poll from February, meaning this is the third straight poll to show Collins behind. She led the race by 16 points when it was first polled in June 2019.

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Justin Trudeau is snubbing Trump for his NAFTA 2.0 celebration — here’s why

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not be joining President Donald Trump this week to celebrate the new version of NAFTA.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will meet at the White House on Wednesday to "recognize the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that entered into force on July 1, 2020, and their shared effort to ensure North America continues strengthening its economic ties while working to combat the coronavirus pandemic," according to a statement from the Trump administration.

But despite hopes that the Canadian leader would attend, Trudeau will not be coming to the United States.

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