Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Trump is sued by Maryland and DC

Trump is sued by Maryland and DC

If a federal judge allows the case to proceed, the two attorney generals say, one of the first steps will be to demand through the discovery process copies of Trump's personal tax returns to gauge the extent of his foreign business dealings.

According to Karl A. Racine, the D.C. Attorney General and Brain Frosh, the Maryland Attorney General, Trump's violations have gone too far. Frosh said the president has discussed some of his business dealings on the campaign trail, noting Trump's mention that a state-owned Chinese bank has office space in Trump Tower in NY. That is what I think this lawsuit is really about. Frosh and Racine listed attorneys for CREW as co-counsel in the suit filed Monday.

Trump said in January he would turn over the day-to-day operation of his real estate empire to his family and place its assets in a trust, but the administration has not disclosed the details of that arrangement.

"The suit alleges that President Trump is flagrantly violating the Constitution", Racine told reporters on Monday.

In the CREW lawsuit, the Justice Department argued Friday that the group was not harmed and therefore was not in a position to sue.

And never in the history of this country have government entities sued a president over the Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits public officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments. In other words, they must show that the people of D.C. and Maryland have been directly injured by Trump's continued ownership of businesses such as Trump Hotel. He also said he was giving up leadership of the Trump Organization to his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and his longtime associate Allen Weisselberg. It comes amid investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller III of conspiracy between Trump associates and the Russian government during the presidential campaign previous year.

The president called the earlier, similar lawsuit about the emoluments issue "without merit, totally without merit".

Attorneys General of D.C. and Maryland have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump accusing him of violating the US Constitution since he assumed office as President.

The suit has been filed in The United States District Court for the District of Maryland and asks for the court to order Trump to stop the alleged practices.

Both clauses ban any "person holding any Office of Profit or Trust" from receiving any payment from foreign countries or from any of the 50 states without approval from Congress.

Maryland and the District of Columbia argue that they should be shielded from "undue pressure to provide emoluments to the president", and that other states can "curry favor from the president by providing emoluments that other states lack".

Since then, a restaurant group and two individuals in the hotel industry joined as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also asserts that since Trump made a decision to maintain his financial interests in his global business empire, he is committing "unprecedented constitutional violations" by accepting those payments.

"We do not sue the president of the United States casually", Mr. Frosh said during a press conference announcing the lawsuit. 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.

In response, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked the lawsuit as motivated by "partisan politics" during his daily press briefing.

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