DC, Maryland AGs to file suit against President Trump over business dealings

Posted June 27, 2017

Many people especially from the opposition side, the Democrats, are insisting that Trump should keep of his individual ventures, but the possibility of this lawsuit to succeed remain very slim.

President Donald Trump is facing a new lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and District of Columbia, alleging that he is violating clauses in the U.S. Constitution that were meant to prevent corruption.

"President Trump's continued ownership interest in a global business empire, which renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the Constitution", the complaint reads.

In January, a watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington launched the first lawsuit in this kind, followed by a D.C. restaurant in March alleging the Trump International Hotel benefits from unfair advantages because of its close association with the president.

On Friday, the US Department of Justice claimed that those plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to sue because they were unable to allege specific harm to the president's integrity brought on by foreign revenue to his conglomerate. The court will have to decide that in coming months.

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

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

Frosh and DC Attorney General Karl Racine - both Democrats - filed the suit in US District Court in Maryland on Monday.

"In the emoluments clauses, we have these ancient air bags that were placed in the Constitution by the framers that are now being deployed", said Eisen, who has been advising the District and Maryland on their suit.

"It's not hard to conclude that partisan politics are behind this", he added, explaining that, "I think we'll move to dismiss the case in the normal course of business".

CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports that the office of D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine confirmed details of the Post's report. Trump himself has appeared at the hotel and greeted guests repeatedly since becoming president. While other presidents have released them, Trump has refused, and the attorney generals said that they want to see them in order to gauge the extent of his business dealings.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee says a lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia "is absurd".

Democrats said that Trump violates the Constitution, which forbids public officials from accepting gifts or emoluments from foreign governments and economic benefits from federal or state governments (that are not his salary.) The goal of this ban is to curb corruption.

President Trump was hit with a lawsuit Monday accusing him of "flagrantly" thumbing his nose at the constitutional prohibition against accepting payments and benefits from foreign governments since he took office.

The lawsuit also focuses on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became President.

In the past Trump has said he would put their reins of his businesses in the hands of his sons and that nobody cares about his taxes. But he remains the sole beneficiary of the trust. However, that trust is managed in part by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, who said they brief the president on his company's profits.