Trump faces new lawsuit over business empire

The attorneys generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia have announced they've filed suit against President Donald Trump, alleging he violated the Constitution by retaining ties to a sprawling global business empire.

The suit says Trump's continued ownership of his family's global business empire has rendered him "deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors" and has harmed the integrity of us democracy.

The hotel is notorious to hosting foreign diplomats from various state nations including the Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey Geargia and others.

The government also said payments to Trump's hotels do not qualify as a violation of the emoluments clause, which is meant to cover personal services performed by the president. A Washington wine bar filed suit against Trump and his Trump International hotel in March, claiming that the president got an unfair business advantage because of the president's association with the business, according to The New York Times. It's the first lawsuit of its kind against a president which involves the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.

The Justice Department asked a federal judge to dismiss the case on Friday.

However, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) and DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) believe the president broke several promises to separate his duties to the public and private business interests. Many people especially from the opposition side, the Democrats, are insisting that Trump should keep of his individual ventures, but the possibility of this lawsuit to succeed remain very slim.

Legal experts say the lawsuits raise thorny questions about who has legitimate standing in court to take on the president.

"The defendant's acceptance or receipt of presents and emoluments in violation of the Constitution presents the District and Maryland with an intolerable dilemma: Either grant the organization's requests for concessions, exemptions, waivers, variances, and the like. or deny such requests and be placed at a disadvantage vis-a-vis states and other government entities that have granted or will agree to such concessions", they wrote. Specifically, they accuse Trump of improperly accepting payments from foreign governments through his business interests, arguing that this is a violation of the Constitution's once-obscure emoluments clause. Legal experts said the D.C. and Maryland suit is legally stronger because states have standing to sue the president.

The Attorneys General filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

This is not the first time the president has been sued under the emoluments clauses.

In New York, Trump Tower leases space to the Chinese government-controlled bank ICBC and Trump World Tower and other properties also focuses on foreign clients, including Russians, it said. As part of their strategy, Frosh said the attorneys general intend to seek access to Trump's financial records, including his tax returns, to determine the extent of his potential conflicts of interest.

Maryland and the District of Columbia argue that they should be shielded from "undue pressure to provide emoluments to the president", and that other states can "curry favor from the president by providing emoluments that other states lack". Instead, he moved his business interests into a trust managed by his sons.



Other news