DC, Maryland to sue President Trump for alleged breach of constitutional oath

DC, Maryland to sue President Trump for alleged breach of constitutional oath

DC, Maryland to sue President Trump for alleged breach of constitutional oath

The attorneys general of Maryland and D.C., both Democrats, have scheduled a news conference for noon ET in Washington.

This is not the first federal lawsuit to accuse the president of violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, but the case is novel.

"The presidents' conflicts of interest threaten our democracy", Frosh told journalists. "We can not treat a president's ongoing violations of the Constitution and disregard for the rights of the American people as the new and acceptable status quo". The suit stated that Trump's failure to end his ties with his businesses undermined public trust and violated constitutional laws against self-dealing.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus Executive Committee in the Cabinet Room at the White House March 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

CREW is outside counsel on the new lawsuit filed by the attorneys general.

And government further said that Trump's hotel revenues do not fit the definition of an improper payment under the constitution. However, that trust is managed in part by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, who said they brief the president on his company's profits.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied Trump was in violation of the clause. That is what I think this lawsuit is really about.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said the case is about Trump's failure to separate his personal interests from his presidential duties.

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Trump's unique status as both president and the financial beneficiary of his global business empire raised questions about the emoluments clause of the Constitution even before he took office. The domestic emoluments clause forbids the president from receiving any other "emolument" while he's in office, generally defined as a payment or other financial benefit. Earlier this year, a lawsuit was filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington against Trump. A nonprofit restaurant group and others have joined the suit since.

On Friday, the Trump administration's Justice Department responded, saying the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs lack the legal standing to sue.

NBC's Asher Klein and Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

The attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Maryland filed a lawsuit making those claims on Monday. A signed copy of the lawsuit reportedly alleges "unprecedented constitutional violations" by Trump. The clause stops him from accepting any sort of gifts from foreign governments without getting approval from the congress.

Racine said he can see Trump International Hotel from his window and "we know exactly what's going on there". Norm Eisen, chair of CREW's board, was at the press conference on Tuesday with Racine and Frosh.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Washington Post late Sunday, hinges on Trump's decision to maintain ownership of his company after becoming president.

The suit is the first to be filed by a governmental entity, but it is the third such suit targeting Trump for refusing to divest from his private business and allegedly benefiting from foreign agents and other guests with business before the federal government who patronize Trump's properties.

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