According to them, Trump repeatedly and continues to violate the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses through payments obtained from leases of Trump properties held by foreign-government entities, hotel accommodations, restaurant purchases, use of venues for events, and purchases of other goods and services by foreign governments and diplomats at hotels, restaurants, and other domestic and global properties licensed, owned, or operated by the President.
The foreign emoluments clause prohibits the president and other government employees from accepting foreign gifts and payments without congressional approval.
The suit, a signed copy of which Racine and Frosh provided to the Washington Post Sunday night, accuses Trump of "unprecedented constitutional violations". I mean you never know what the courts are going to do. Trump and his attorneys argue the clause does not cover fair-value transactions, such as hotel room payments and real estate sales.
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed the lawsuit.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, alleges the president is in violation of the Constitution's "emoluments" clause due to his business interests.
Since then, a restaurant group and two individuals in the hotel industry joined as plaintiffs.
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US President Donald J. Trump (R), First Lady Melania Trump (C) and their son Barron Trump return to the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 11 June 2017, after a trip to New Jersey.
Racine and Frosh are getting legal support from lawyers at CREW, the group behind the emoluments clause lawsuit in NY.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the suit Monday as a partisan ploy, saying that Trump's business interests do not violate the clause.
Legal experts said the D.C. and Maryland suit is legally stronger because states have standing to sue the president. The Constitution typically explicitly names the president and vice president when parts of the Constitution refer to them, with clauses generally referring to government officials not always applying.
"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". "Each President, regardless of temperament or ideology, has sought, in his own way, to honor that solemn vow [to defend the Constitution]", the lawsuit read. "The American people elected President Trump to lead this country, and it is time Democrats end their efforts to delegitimize his presidency", said Lindsay Jancek.
"He bragged about that on the campaign trial", 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".