Congressional democrats file suit against Trump

Some 200 congressional democrats filed a lawsuit against President Trump Wednesday, accusing him of profiting from foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
By Jason Spencer | Jun 16, 2017
Some 200 congressional democrats filed a lawsuit against President Trump Wednesday, accusing him of profiting from foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution forbids the president and other federal officials from accepting payments or gifts of any kind from foreign nations without approval from congress.

The lawsuit accuses Trump of continuing to profit from his businesses since he has taken office by accepting payments from foreign diplomats who patronize his hotels and golf courses as well as accepting trademark approvals from foreign powers, a report by The New York Times said.

"The founders ensured that federal officeholders would not decide for themselves whether particular emoluments were likely to compromise their own independence or lead them to put personal interest over national interest," wrote the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "An officeholder, in short, should not be the sole judge of his own integrity."

Just two days before, the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland also filed a lawsuit against Trump, alleging that his business empire is unfairly competing with state-owned or state-operated convention centers, hotels, and resorts. Earlier in the year, a federal lawsuit brought by private business owners similarly alleged that Trump is putting them at a commercial disadvantage.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who spearheaded Wednesday's lawsuit with Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), said Trump's companies, which do business in some 20 countries, are so cloaked in secrecy that Congress is unable determine if the president is receiving unconstitutional emoluments, or benefits.

"What we are seeking first and foremost is disclosure," said Blumenthal in the Times report. "We cannot consent to what we don't know."

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