A Washington, D.C. visit by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin may become fodder in a lawsuit that alleges President Donald Trump has violated the federal emoluments clause, according to a story published Thursday by The Washington Post.
During his visit, Bevin stayed at Trump’s D.C. hotel; taxpayers initially paid the $686 bill, but the Kentucky Republican Party eventually reimbursed the state, according to the story.
In two separate cases in federal court, plaintiffs are arguing that by retaining a financial interest in properties like the Trump Hotel and doing business with states — like Kentucky — Trump is violating the part of the Constitution that bars the president from personally profiting from his office. The Domestic Emoluments Clause is intended to preserve the independence of the president.
Over the course of his campaign for reelection this year, Bevin worked to tie himself to Trump and his policies; the president has a higher approval rating in Kentucky than Bevin does. Trump also held a rally on the night before the election for Bevin. Despite the push, Bevin was narrowly defeated by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, and since the election Trump has distanced himself from Bevin.
A spokesperson for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.