Congressional Democrats sue Trump over foreign payments

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Blumenthal heads a group of 30 senators and 166 members of the House of Representatives - all Democrats- who sued Trump Wednesday, saying he is in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In a filing Friday, the Department of Justice argued that the foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution did not apply to Trump receiving payment from foreign dignitaries at his hotels and golf clubs because they were fair-market commercial transactions and did not therefore need congressional approval.

The congressional lawsuit is just the latest legal challenge over whether the payments Trump accepts from foreign governments should be considered foreign emoluments.

In recent months, similar lawsuits have been filed by parties including a nonprofit ethics group, a restaurant trade group, and the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, against Trump.

"The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy".

A group of nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit challenging profits that President Donald Trump's global businesses have taken in from foreign entities. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who helped organize the lawsuit. "An officeholder, in short, should not be the sole judge of his own integrity".

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".

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A total of 17 people were killed and almost 50 others were wounded in the terrorist attacks. Iran also accuses the United States for promoting armed in the region.

The private businesses say they are being harmed because Trump's D.C. hotel is presenting unfair competition, i.e., foreign officials take their business to Trump to win his favor.

"Mr.Trump is unique in American history in violating the emoluments clause". "President Trump has left us with no other option".

The company said in a pamphlet shared with members of Congress that its effort might not capture every dollar spent by foreign officials at Trump's hotels because looking into all patrons' backgrounds would invade their privacy. "And you can not get away with that in a rule-of-law system".

Sen Richard Blumenthal said: "The president's failure to tell us about these emoluments. mean that we can not do our job". "How much is Russian money?" "He has a duty, at the very least, to disclose what those deals and payments and benefits are, so that the American people know that he's putting our interests first, and not his business interests", the senator said. The lawsuit says that by not asking Congress for approval to accept those financial benefits, Trump is circumventing a full accounting of his ties to foreign governments and how they might intersect with USA policy.

In a response to the initial lawsuit, Justice Department lawyers argued that the framers of the Constitution never meant to prevent a president from owning a business or to ban ordinary, arms-length commercial transactions.

Sheri Dillon, a Trump lawyer, told reporters in January that hotel payments don't constitute emoluments anyway.

That is because the Constitution gives Congress no oversight role there.

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