Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

Maryland, DC attorneys general plan lawsuit against Trump

Maryland, DC attorneys general plan lawsuit against Trump

Trump refused to fully divest himself from his businesses upon taking office, revealing an arrangement in January that would put his assets in a trust and allow him to regain control of the company after leaving office.

The essence of the matter is that President Donald Trump chose to retain ownership in his own business empire when he was appointed president.

The suit, to be filed in federal court in Maryland, will allege that Trump has violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, according to the person.

But if the lawsuit is successful, the big payoff could be finally getting a look at Trump's tax returns.

"This case is all about the right of Marylands, D.C.s and all American citizens to have an honest administration", said Democrat Frosh to Washington Post.

"The presidents conflicts of interest threaten our democracy", Frosh said.

"We go into this to make up the balance of power that Congress does not seem to want to have".

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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.

The Washington Post's Aaron Davis first reported on the lawsuit early Monday morning after the Post received a signed copy in the mail the previous night. "The lawyers driving the suit are advocacy group with partisan ties". Each, however, faces legal hurdles over standing to sue the president.

But D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, D, and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, D, say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests.

The Trump Organization has said it will donate profits from customers representing foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury but will not require the customers to identify themselves. Saudi Arabia has also checked in on Trump International several occasions.

A statement released to the press Monday says they'll announce the suit at a news conference in Washington.

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge in NY to dismiss a similar complaint, arguing that the emoluments clauses do not prohibit presidents from owning businesses. They said the suit involves so-called emolument clauses of the Constitution - little-known anti-corruption provisions meant to shield the president from outside influence. "Trump is the framers' worst-case scenario; a president who would seize office and attempt to exploit his position for personal financial gain with every governmental entity imaginable, across the United States or around the world". "The fact that he's got a lease from the USA government and the lease itself says it can't be held in any part by an official of the US government, that's an emolument". Kuwait's Embassy held a party at Trumps Hotel after having booked at Four Seasons. But after Trump proposed increasing GSA's budget, the agency issued a letter saying Trump was in full compliance with the lease.

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