Hours after a lawsuit alleging corruption by President Donald Trump was allowed to proceed by a U.S. District judge in Maryland, the words "Crime Scene—Do Not Enter" were projected onto the Trump International Hotel, blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.
The lawsuit, filed by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland, argues that Trump is violating the Constitution's emoluments clauses, which prohibit the president from taking gifts from foreign and state governments.
Since Trump took office, foreign heads of state and several state governors have stayed at the hotel—which is still owned by the president's Trump Organization. Trump is able to withdraw funds from his business at any time.
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Judge Peter Messitte declined to throw out the case at the Trump administration's request. The plaintiffs applauded the decision, saying it showed the president "is not above the law."
Robin Bell, a visual artist who tweeted a photograph of the projection, has been behind similar installations at the hotel. Last year, Bell projected the phrase "Pay Trump Bribes Here" onto the front of the building, along with an image of the emoluments clauses.