U.S. Supreme Court dismisses clash over Trump hotel documents

By John Kruzel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of congressional Democrats who had sought details of a government lease for a hotel in Washington relating to when it belonged to former President Donald Trump.

The court action came after lawmakers voluntarily dropped the case earlier this month. The justices previously agreed to hear a bid from President Joe Biden’s administration to block the trial.

The case arose in 2017 when 17 Democratic members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee sued the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages federal government real estate. Lawmakers have requested information about a 2013 lease of the former post office building to the former Republican president’s company to convert it into a hotel.

The GSA had rejected several demands from a group of Democrats, whose party was then – as now – in the minority in the House, saying they lacked the power, as individual members, to exercise a control.

The lawmakers’ case had tested whether small groups of lawmakers had the proper legal status to sue to enforce a federal law seeking information from federal agencies.

A federal judge previously dismissed the case, finding that the committee members had not suffered, as lawmakers, the kind of legal harm that would give them the right to sue.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit revived the case in 2020, concluding, “A denied request for information to which the plaintiff is legally entitled is concrete, particularized, and individualized personal injury. “

Biden’s Justice Department, defending the GSA, had appealed the case to the Supreme Court, saying the case could set an unwelcome precedent by allowing a few members of Congress, even fringe party members minority, to distract and harass executive officials. .

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(Reporting by John Kruzel)

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