Maryland, DC attorneys general plan lawsuit against Trump

Maryland, DC attorneys general plan lawsuit against Trump - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

To prove they have the standing to sue, the attorneys general can argue that foreign governments have hosted events at Trump's hotel that would have otherwise brought business to the District-owned Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, partially subsidized by Maryland taxpayers.

ABC News reports an advisory was sent out by D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh on Sunday indicating they planned to "announce a major lawsuit" against Trump at noon Monday. They say that Trump's leases, properties and other business "entanglements" around the globe have led to a conflict of interest under the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution.

The suit alleges that Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution which states that "no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State".

"The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy", Frosh said. "We can not treat the president's ongoing violations of the Constitution and his disregard of the rights of the American people as the new and acceptable status quo".

The document asserted that both the district and state have been harmed due to the president's business activities and would continue to be injured if the court takes no action. Trump and his attorneys argue the clause does not cover fair-value transactions, such as hotel room payments and real estate sales.

The Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office building on D.C.'s Pennsylvania Avenue is the at the center of the latest allegations of wrongdoing facing President Donald Trump.

Since then, a nonprofit restaurant group, a NY hotel and restaurant owner, and a woman who books events at hotels in Washington have joined the suit as plaintiffs.

On Friday the Justice Department asked the court to drop that complaint, saying Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had no grounds to sue because it had not experienced any loss in relation to Mr Trump.

"This lawsuit today is just another iteration of the case that was filed by that group CREW, filed actually by the same lawyers", Spicer said.

"It's not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations", he said.

The suit will seek an injunction to force Trump to stop violating the Constitution, but will leave it up to the court to decide how that should be accomplished.

Can states force President Trump to sell off his businesses?

Spicer says the president's interests "do not violate the emoluments clause" and he pointed to the fact that both AGs are Democrats.

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

"His Post Office hotel is an emolument", Frosh said. "We will be seeking that information".

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