April 21, 2018

Maryland, DC attorneys general suing Trump

26 June 2017, 01:50 | Latoya Patrick

Pool Getty Images

Pool  Getty Images

Frosh told the Post that the emoluments clause mandates that "the president put the country first and not his own personal interest first".

The attorneys general argued they had standing to sue Trump because their citizens will be harmed if payments to Trump are used to influence his allocation of federal funds. The suit, filed in Maryland federal court, seeks an injunction to bar the president from further constitutional violations.

Racine and Frosh said in a news conference that the Trump hotel, just blocks from the White House, creates unfair competition for other businesses in the District and Maryland. "There have been many presidents before him".

On Friday, the government argued that the constitution does not prevent the president from profiting from his businesses while in office.

Racine and Frosh said Monday that Trump has broken promises to separate himself from his business interests, noting that he receives regular updates on his company's finances.

Trump announced in January that he would shift his business assets into a trust managed by his sons, in an effort to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

The Republican National Committee in a statement called the lawsuit "absurd". That is what I think this lawsuit is really about.

The attorneys general allege that Trump violated anti-corruption clauses in the USA constitution and broken promises to keep his public and private business interests separate, the Post also reported. Since then, a restaurant group and two individuals in the hotel industry have joined as plaintiffs.

The Justice Department on Friday argued that those plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to sue because they can not allege enough specific harm caused by Trump's businesses.

NBC's Asher Klein and Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

Norman Eisen, former chief White House ethics lawyer, said jurisdictions such as these are among the "most ideal plaintiffs" to impeach Trump over the finances spent lately because both attorneys share the same view, insisting on law enforcement. A signed copy of the lawsuit reportedly alleges "unprecedented constitutional violations" by Trump.

The foreign emoluments clause prohibits the president and other government employees from accepting foreign gifts and payments without congressional approval.

"[Americans] must know we won't enter into a treaty because the president owns a golf course there", Frosh said. Norm Eisen, chair of CREW's board, was at the press conference on Tuesday with Racine and Frosh.

Newly filed lobbying disclosures show the Saudi government recently spent about $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington as part of a larger lobbying campaign to ease a US terrorism law.

"We are a nation of laws, and no one including the president is above the law", Racine said.

According to the publication, if a federal judge accepts the claim, the prosecutors would require disclosing Trump's tax return for determining the scale of the foreign transactions of his business.

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