Donald Trump is reportedly being sued for 'unprecedented constitutional violations'

Toby Manning
June 14, 2017

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, left, accompanied by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Monday, June 12, 2017, to announce what they call a "major lawsuit" against President Donald Trump.

In addition to accusing Trump of violating the Constitution, Frosh and Racine allege that his private businesses divert customers from spending money at businesses owned, licensed, or taxed by D.C. and Maryland, ultimately damaging their economies.The complaint also argues that the president uses his power to boost his businesses' profits, essentially publicizing them with new efficacy given the influence his now infamous name holds.

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.

The lawsuit followed an earlier similar complaint by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed on January 23 in NY federal district court.

The Justice Department on Friday argued that those plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to sue because they can not allege enough specific harm caused by Trump's businesses.

The complaint has numerous same points made in a lawsuit filed in NY federal court earlier this year. "They must know that we will not enter into a treaty with another country because the president has a golf course there".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The only known instance in which the president has been forced to hand over his returns was when Trump sued then-New York Times reporter Timothy O'Brien, who claimed in a book that the onetime reality TV star wasn't as rich as he claimed to be.

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So, his son Eric trump said that the President continues to receive regular information about the financial condition of the company. That lawsuit is seeking a court order to compel Trump to divest from his business holdings on grounds that the constitution prohibits him from making money from foreign governments or making a profit beyond the presidential salary. He replied that Trump's business interests "do not violate the Emoluments Clause", for reasons spelled out by the Justice Department's filing on Friday. Congressional Democrats are expected to file a similar suit.

Another suit, filed earlier this year by CREW, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Inc., and two individuals, alleged that Trump had been in violation of the clause since he took office.

Jancek also says the American people elected Trump president, and that it's time Democrats "end their efforts to delegitimize his presidency". 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. That also likely means a trip to the Supreme Court, as Trump's lawyers will fight tooth and nail to keep voters in the dark about Trump's financial commitment.

While Racine noted the lawsuit is not drawn upon partisan lines, he did take a jab at the GOP's lack of action on the matter. "No president has had the kind of business entanglement with foreign governments like Donald Trump".

Trump has said he would put his assets in a trust to be managed by his sons.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed the lawsuit Monday.

Other reports by VgToday

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