Two Democratic AGs to sue Trump 
for foreign payments to his businesses

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON: The Attorney-Generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to file a lawsuit alleging that foreign payments to US President Donald Trump's businesses violate the constitution, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Mr Trump already faces a similar lawsuit that was brought in January by plaintiffs including an ethics non-profit group.

But the case from two Democratic AGs could stand a better chance in court as the first government action over allegations that Mr Trump, a Republican, violated the constitution's so-called emoluments clause.

A spokesman for Maryland's AG declined to comment on the latest emoluments case.

DC's AG Karl Racine and a spokesman for the US Department of Justice could not immediately be reached.

In the case filed in January in Manhattan federal court, an ethics non-profit, restaurant group and hotel events booker allege Mr Trump violates the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars him from accepting gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval, by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite ceding day-to-day control to his sons.

The Justice Department last Friday argued that those plaintiffs lack the legal standing to sue because they cannot allege enough specific harm caused by Mr Trump's businesses.

The government also said Trump hotel revenue does not fit the definition of an improper payment under the constitution. 

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