A recently filed lawsuit against President Donald Trump alleging that his hotels and restaurants create unfair competition just got some big backers. New York restaurateurs Danny Meyer, Tom Colicchio, and James Mallios of Amali have all endorsed the action, according to Eater. The suit comes shortly after the Trump Organization settled with chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
Earlier this week, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) joined the suit originally filed by government watchdog group Center for Responsible Ethics in Washington. The lawsuit claims Trump’s refusal to rescind ownership in his restaurants and hotels violates an “emoluments” clause of the Constitution — a clause that bans presidents from accepting cash from foreign governments.
The idea is that foreign dignitaries will attempt to curry favor with the president by patronizing his restaurants and hotels.
“There is no question in my mind that foreign companies, countries, and individuals will feel compelled or advantaged by choosing Trump establishments over our own,” Mallios said in a statement. “While I always expected to compete against the best restaurants in the toughest restaurant market in the world, I never thought I would have to compete against the pecuniary interests of the President of the United States.”
While Trump’s business interests are in a trust run by his sons, the president remains the trust’s financial benefactor. [Eater]