Attorneys General Plan To Sue Trump Over His Foreign Business Dealings

Attorneys General Plan To Sue Trump Over His Foreign Business Dealings

Lawsuits are old hat to President Donald Trump, but one of constitutional caliber filed by government entities is new to his roster of legal battles.The Attorney General of Maryland Brian Frosh and the Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine announced in a news conference on Monday that they were suing the president for massive conflicts of interest.

The attorneys general of Washington D.C. and the state of Maryland said Trump's "wide-ranging business entanglements" violated the constitution's emoluments clauses, which prohibit the chief executive from receiving payments, gifts, or titles from foreign governments.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the report said.

Payments to the president's enterprises from foreign and domestic governments through his hospitality empire draw business away from Maryland and D.C. venues and put local governments under pressure to give Trump-owned businesses special treatment, according to the complaint.

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.

"The actions by the attorneys general represent the kind of partisan grandstanding voters across the country have come to despise", the RNC said in a statement to the New York Times.

The Justice Department said on Friday those plaintiffs did not suffer in any way and had no standing to sue, and that it was unconstitutional to sue the President in his official capacity.

Mr Trump's unique status as both President and the financial beneficiary of his global business empire raised questions about the emoluments clause of the constitution even before he took office.

The suit cites the president's luxury hotel in Washington, which has been at the center of concerns about conflicts of interest, and his worldwide network of hotels, golf courses and other commercial properties.

US President Donald Trump listens to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speak during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.

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. For example, the President continues to own luxury hotel and resort properties - including a new one just down the street from the White House - catering to foreign and state government business.

"He doesn't seem to understand or care about these violations of the Constitution", Maryland Attorney General Frosh stated in turn.

At their news conference, the two Democrats said their effort is non-partisan and that other attorneys general, including Republicans, were welcome to join their effort.

While Racine noted the lawsuit is not drawn upon partisan lines, he did take a jab at the GOP's lack of action on the matter.

Attorneys General Racine and Frosh expressed their thanks to their staffs and to several partners who provided assistance in assembling the lawsuit.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization did not immediately return requests for comment.

Summary: Donald Trump has been sued by two attorney generals who want him to release his tax returns.

What do you think of Trump's business connections?

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