President Donald Trump is sued by a wine bar for unfair competition over his Washington D.C. hotel. The recent lawsuit claims that the president himself and the people managing his hotel are unfairly attracting customers who hope to make a good impression with his administration. Furthermore, it was stated that the president is also making a federal violation because he works in a public office while still retaining a part of the ownership of his hotel.
Cork Wine bar is losing customers and they’re not happy about it
A Washington D.C Wine bar owned by the couple, Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross filed a strictly-business lawsuit on Thursday against President Donald Trump himself and the Trump International Hotel. The well-reviewed restaurant sits about 1.5 miles from the $212 million Trump Hotel which was opened in 2016. The duo claimed that their Cork Wine Bar which features a steakhouse and a full bar has seen a decline in business following Trump’s win in presidency last year.
— CorkDC (@CorkDC) February 23, 2017
“We have events we do here for elected officials, nonprofits, foreign dignitaries, the World Bank, law firms. Those folks are now being courted to come and want to go there because they see it as advantageous to them to curry favor with the president,” Gross told The Washington Post.
Trump resigned from his roles in managing the Trump Organization and left it to his oldest son, Donald Jr. But that doesn’t mean he has no hand in the ownership stakes or any financial interest which were the subject of his previous lawsuit by a group of ethics lawyers. The charges claimed that Trump has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which forbids any elected government employee from accepting a benefit from any foreign country. However, to comply with this, the president pledged not to take any profits or anything of value from his businesses’ dealings with foreign clienteles and will be donated instead to the U.S Treasury.
President Donald Trump is sued by a wine bar suggesting he might close his D.C. hotel
Cork Wine Bar’s lawyers urge a fair trial for the lawsuit and want Mr. Trump to strip him of ownership title or to pursue closure of the hotel. Diane Gross mentioned that they are not seeking any monetary reimbursements for damages, but wished that Donald Trump would divest from any of his business interests as it “constitutes unfair competition.”
“We are not seeking money. We simply want to level the playing field so all D.C. restaurants can compete fairly,” Pitts said.
The couple’s legal team believed that Trump’s government stature puts him one foot ahead of other businesses established in the vicinity. During the press conference, Scott Rome, one of the attorneys said that their client’s restaurant puts them in “second choice for anyone who wants to gain favor with the government.” They are also speaking with other restaurant owners and adding plaintiffs to the case, but admitted they don’t know how many would join in their tirade.
And from the President Trump’s side
After President Donald Trump was sued by wine bar owners, chief legal officer Alan Garten of Trump Organization called the lawsuit as “a wild publicity stunt” and “completely lacking in legal merit.”
Steve Klein, the district’s lawyer reviewed the complaint and said, “They’re dressing up a contract claim under this broad, broad, claim of unfair competition, but really what they’re trying to do is enforce a contract that they have no right to enforce.” He added that he doesn’t think the lawsuit will go far.
The owners also made it clear that their decision to sue was purely business and there was no politics involved as they are both Democrats.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]