TEHRAN, June 12, YJC - Two US Democratic attorneys general in Maryland and the District of Columbia are planning to file a lawsuit against Donald Trump, alleging that the Republican president’s businesses have accepted foreign payments in breach of the constitution.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
The case is similar to the one filed by a group of plaintiffs including a ethics non-profit in January but stands a better chance in court, Reuters reported Monday, citing an official familiar with the issue.
The January lawsuit, filed by an ethics non-profit, restaurant group and hotel events booker in Manhattan federal court, the plaintiffs argued that Trump had violated the Constitution's "emoluments" clause.
The law bars the president from accepting foreign government gifts without congressional approval. The plaintiffs allege, however, that Trump is getting past the barrier by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite handing over the control to his sons.
On Friday, the Trump Justice Department dismissed the charges brought in the case, saying the plaintiffs could not allege enough specific harm caused by Trump's businesses.
The department also denied claims that the Trump hotel revenue would qualify as an improper payment under the constitution.
Attorney General Karl Racine said in March that the payments had already caused considerable damage in the District of Columbia.
The AG said back then that the DC had subsidized the construction of hotels impacted by foreign payments to Trump properties, arguing that this puts the district in a "unique position" to sue the president.
Democratic attorneys generals have dealt heavy blows to Trump’s policies on various occasions.
They successfully blocked the new president’s travel ban against people from several Muslim countries. The AGs are also resisting Trump’s reversal of major environmental regulations as well as his efforts to repeal and replace the affordable Care Act (ACA), former Democratic president Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
Trump has accused his Democratic opponents of "judge shopping,” even threatening to "break up” the unruly court that oppose his anti-immigration policies.