Attorneys general of Maryland and DC plan 'major lawsuit' against Trump

An artist in Washington D.C. projected the

The attorneys-general of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to file a lawsuit yesterday alleging that foreign payments to President Donald Trump's businesses violate the U.S. constitution, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The lawsuit, obtained by the Post, from Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh - both Democrats - alleges that Mr. Trump committed "unprecedented constitutional violations".

A signed copy of the lawsuit provided to the Post accuses Trump of "unprecedented constitutional violations", and says that the integrity of the US political system has been undermined by a president "deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors". This would be the first lawsuit of its kind to have been brought by a government entity, the report noted. The attorneys allege Trump violated the Constitution's emoluments clause. In April, documents reviewed by ProPublica demonstrated that the president may continue to receive payments from the trust at his discretion. That fight would most likely end up before the Supreme Court, the two said, with Trump's attorneys having to defend why the returns should remain private.

AG Racine told Reuters in a March interview that the District of Columbia has suffered particular harm because it subsidized the construction of hotels that are now impacted by foreign payments to Trump properties.

In the D.C. area, both the District and Maryland will cite ways they have been adversely affected by the opening of the Trump International Hotel past year near the White House. Saudi Arabia, the destination of Trump's first trip overseas, also booked rooms at the hotel through an intermediary on more than one occasion since Trump's inauguration. Trump himself has appeared at the hotel and greeted guests repeatedly since becoming president.

An artist in Washington, D.C. projected the "Pay Trump Bribes Here" message on the Trump International Hotel in May.

That puts the district in a "unique position" to file legal claims over the emoluments clause, Racine said. The justice department is seeking to have the suit dismissed.

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