Maryland And DC AGs Sue Trump For Constitutional Violations
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 22:24
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, alleges the president is in violation of the Constitution's "emoluments" clause due to his business interests.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer brushed off the case as another example of "partisan politics" and said: "We'll continue to move to dismiss this case in the normal course of business". "Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements".
The complaint cites multiple cases of foreign diplomats and business executives staying in or holding events at the Trump hotel to curry favor with the president. In order to prove this accusation, the lawsuit demands that Donald Trump make available his income tax returns in order for the plaintiffs to prove their case.
The suit detailed the popularity of the opulent Trump International Hotel with foreign officials since his January 20 inauguration, alleging the hotel "has specifically marketed itself to the diplomatic community". "The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy".
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
Frosh said the president has discussed some of his business dealings on the campaign trail, noting Trump's mention that a state-owned Chinese bank has office space in Trump Tower in NY. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a D.C. -based group, and Cork Wine Bar had previously filed lawsuits against the president. "Each President, regardless of temperament or ideology, has sought, in his own way, to honor that solemn vow [to defend the Constitution]", the lawsuit read.
Maryland and the district also argue that they themselves are being harmed economically - because their businesses have to compete with Trump's, and because their governments face pressure to provide Trump with permits and tax breaks.
The lawsuit also centers on Trump's resolution to retain the ownership of his business even after becoming the president. And presidents may not accept anything more than their salaries from either the federal or state governments.
On Monday's broadcast of CNN's "Situation Room", CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin stated the lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia and Maryland against President Trump "is a political attempt to interfere and damage the presidency".
Racine also ripped the Republican controlled Congress for giving Trump "a total pass on his businesses".
AG Racine told Reuters in a March interview that the District of Columbia has suffered particular harm because it subsidized the construction of hotels that are now impacted by foreign payments to Trump properties.
They pledged to pursue no new foreign deals during Trump's presidency but have traveled the globe - from Dubai to the Dominican Republic - to work on projects conceived before their father took office.