Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

GOP official calls suit against Trump 'absurd'

GOP official calls suit against Trump 'absurd'

The attorneys general in the nation's capital and Maryland filed a lawsuit Monday against President Trump, arguing he is violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign government and other government entities.

A report from The Washington Post last month shed light on documents sent through the Trump Organization revealing that the company had made an unsubstantial effort to identify guests from foreign governments.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the suit at a news conference in Washington.

Donald Trump is facing lawsuits from the attorney generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia alleging the the US President committed "unprecedented constitutional violations" by refusing to sell off his businesses.

The lawsuit claims foreign payments to Trump's businesses violate the US Constitution's domestic emoluments clause. "I just think if Donald Trump is going to be damaged politically, it's going to come through other sources".

Both attorney generals allege with his business ties still intact President Trump gives off the illusion he's putting his personal business ahead of the business of the American people. More recently, the states of Washington, Oregon and Hawaii led lawsuits to challenge Trump's temporary ban on foreign travel, they said.

Since then, a restaurant group and two individuals in the hotel industry joined as plaintiffs. Racine said he and Frosh were supportive of CREW's lawsuit in NY, but that their case offered another chance to develop the record and the law.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied Trump was in violation of the clause.

The attorneys general have a better chance of establishing standing, legal scholars said, although they are divided over whether the AGs will ultimately succeed. If this lawsuit progresses, defining what constitutes emoluments will be a key element in both the plaintiff's and defendant's arguments and the court's ruling will have long-term constitutional consequences. "Foreign governments are spending money there in order to curry favor with the president of the United States". The president called an earlier, similar lawsuit about the emoluments issue "without merit, totally without merit".

This lawsuit also concerns the fact that Trump wanted to keep his company ownership when he was elected as the new president of the United States.

"Mr. Trump is unique in American history in violating the emoluments clause", Frosh said. "I don't think we have ever believed that officers of the USA can't own stock in a company that does business overseas", McConnell said. "We'll have a lot more after we get discovery". The anti-corruption clause had not been fully tested in court.

The announced lawsuit adds to Trump's woes as he grapples with congressional and a special prosecutor's probes into his campaign's alleged ties with Russian Federation, which USA intelligence agencies say meddled aggressively in the 2016 election to held Trump win.

Trump said he was shifting assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interest. Specifically, the Foreign Emoluments Clause bars foreign powers from influencing or inducing the President with money or other items of value. "We will be seeking that information". Let us know in the comment section below.

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