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DC, Maryland attorneys general to file a lawsuit against President Trump

DC, Maryland attorneys general to file a lawsuit against President Trump

The attorney generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia say they will sue Donald Trump, alleging he has violated the U.S. constitution by taking payments from foreign governments as president.

The Trump Organization has come out to counteract the stated clause claiming that it doesn't relate to the "fair value exchange" whereby people pay for a service fee just like what is charged for a hotel room.

The Trump Hotel in the nation's capital affects business in the Washington area and is part of the reason the lawsuit was filed by officials in the District of Columbia and Maryland, Frosh said.

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.

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The suit is the first to be filed by a governmental entity, but it is the third such suit targeting Trump for refusing to divest from his private business and allegedly benefiting from foreign agents and other guests with business before the federal government who patronize Trump's properties. "The president can stand over here with his president of the United States hat and he's not allowed to take payments, but he takes a step over here and puts on his businessman hat they can funnel as much money to him as they want".

But the attorney General of the district of Columbia, Karl Racine and the attorney General of Maryland Brian Frosch believe that trump has broken his promise to stay out of private business.

"Were plaintiffs" interpretation correct, presidents from the very beginning of the republic, including George Washington, would have received prohibited "emoluments, '" the department said.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed the lawsuit Monday. "Foreign governments are spending money there in order to curry favor with the president of the United States". The emoluments clause was conceived by the framers of the Constitution in an attempt to ensure that the USA government remains independent from foreign actors, and to ensure that American office holders don't exploit their positions for personal financial gain.

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Trump announced in January that he would shift his business assets into a trust managed by his sons, in an effort to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.

On Friday the Justice Department asked the court to drop that complaint, saying Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had no grounds to sue because it had not experienced any loss in relation to Trump.

Reports say that a similar lawsuit was also filed in January by plaintiffs including an ethics non-profit group. For example, the Trump property competes against Washington's convention center; a government-owned conference center in Bethesda, Md.; and the National Harbor resort in Prince George's County, Md.

"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. "As state attorneys general representing the people, we have a duty to serve as a check and balance against the president, whose business activities have opened the door to the type of corruption the Framers of our Constitution aimed to prevent".

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