Maryland, DC sue Trump, accuse president of profiting from office

In January, government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a similar federal lawsuit in the Southern District of NY.

The suit to be unveiled Monday centers on the so-called emoluments clause, which bans USA officials from taking gifts or other benefits from foreign governments.

On Friday, the US Department of Justice claimed that those plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to sue because they were unable to allege specific harm to the president's integrity brought on by foreign revenue to his conglomerate.

A small wine bar in the nation's capital also has filed a separate suit, claiming Trump's Washington hotel and restaurant, located in a federally owned building not far from the White House, pose unfair competition. He also said he was giving up leadership of the Trump Organization to his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and his longtime associate Allen Weisselberg.

What do you think of the attorney generals' lawsuit?

Trump said in January he would turn over the day-to-day operation of his real estate empire to his family and place its assets in a trust, but the administration has not disclosed the details of that arrangement. Furthermore, it prohibits the president from accepting gifts or emoluments from state governments.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who's government has important business and policy before the president of the united states has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump International Hotel", Racine said.

The lawsuit, obtained by The Washington Post on Sunday night, alleges Trump has committed "unprecedented constitutional violations".

"We know exactly what's going on every single day", said Racine, noting that he could see Trump's hotel in Washington from his office.

"The president is bound by oath to faithfully execute his office and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." the lawsuit says, and the president has to "disentangle his private finances" and to keep them aloof from domestic or foreign affairs to attain his oath and retrieve the peoples' trust. "That is the indispensable foundation of a democracy", said Attorney General Frosh.

"We have a duty to enforce the law and that's why we are taking action today", Racine added.

According to the Prosecutor General, the case is likely to be in the Supreme court.

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.

NORTHAM: The White House has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit.

The two attorney generals argue in the lawsuit that President Trump's actions harm their "sovereign interests" as states that interact with Mr. Trump's company could receive special treatment from the federal government.

When it comes down to it, this lawsuit is about whether or not President Trump is making decisions based on what benefits the country or his businesses. "The Domestic Emoluments Clause prevents individual states from competing against each other by giving the President money or other things of value", according to the Washington Post.

  • Zachary Reyes