The attorneys general in the District of Columbia and Maryland have launched a joint lawsuit today against Donald Trump alleging that his his profiting off foreign money when leaders of other nations stay at his resorts and hotels around the world. Trump has separated himself from his business to an extent, but will still earn money from his business though he isn’t directly involved day to day. The AG’s pushing this lawsuit contend that this amounts to Trump accepting money from foreign donors, which is something that is strictly forbidden in American politics.

The report from Fox News:

The attorneys general of Maryland and Washington D.C. reportedly plan to file a lawsuit Monday against President Trump alleging that foreign payments to his businesses violate the Constitution.

A similar lawsuit was filed in January, but the case from two Democratic attorneys general may stand a better chance in court because it is the first brought by government entities, according to Reuters. The attorneys allege Trump violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

According to The Washington Post, which first reported the lawsuit, the lawsuit focuses on Trump’s decision to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump insisted in January that he was moving business assets into a trust to be managed by his sons and eliminate possible conflicts.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said Trump has failed to keep his promises involving his businesses, including having his son Eric Trump update his father about the company’s finances.

This matter was always ripe for the picking when it came to criticism of Trump’s business arrangements in relation to winning the presidency. The Trump Organization has hotels all over the world, and they have become very popular destinations for foreign dignitaries hoping to garner favor with the new president. The most glaring example is the newly opened Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, which was met with huge fanfare and caters to many of these foreign nationals when they visit.

The Washington Post adds more:

The lawsuit, a signed copy of which Racine and Frosh provided to The Washington Post on Sunday night, alleges “unprecedented constitutional violations” by Trump. The suit says Trump’s continued ownership of a global business empire has rendered the president “deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors” and has undermined the integrity of the U.S. political system.

“Fundamental to a President’s fidelity to [faithfully execute his oath of office] is the Constitution’s demand that the President … disentangle his private finances from those of domestic and foreign powers. Never before has a President acted with such disregard for this constitutional prescription.”

If the lawsuit moves forward, it will be a test of how far the president has distanced himself from his business dealings. The court could subpoena any of the surrounding documentation of how “blind” the arrangement truly is for Trump.

The other test could be trying to define what it means to accept foreign donations. For example, if a politician writes a book, then wins elected office, then anyone from a foreign government purchases that book, does it meet the same definition? I suspect in the Trump case it will be argued that the way the Trump hotel in DC was opened could have been overtly seen as a way to peddle Trump properties to foreign leaders which could be construed as soliciting.

According to CNBC the Trump Organization is trying to deal with this issue:

The Trump International Hotel recently took in about $270,000 in payments tied to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the country fights to roll back a U.S. terrorism law, according to newly filed lobbying reports.

The spending, which covered lodging, catering and parking expenses, was disclosed in Justice Department filings last week by MSL Group Americas, a public relations firm. The filings detailed the work the firm engaged in between Oct. 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 on behalf of the Saudis, Bahrain and other foreign governments.

In a statement Monday night, Trump Organization officials said they would donate any profits from the transactions at the end of the year.

The disclosure of Saudi spending, however, could spark fresh debate about President Trump’s decision to retain ownership of his real-estate and branding empire while serving in the White House. Trump turned over management of his companies to his adult sons and a veteran Trump Organization executive but still can benefit financially from his business interests.

That’s a prime example of the conflict that will always exist since Donald Trump retains ownership of the company, though is supposed to be separated from the day to day operations. There will always be the appearance of impropriety no matter how it’s handled by the company and the president. This lawsuit could flush that out.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I heard one report that this is a backdoor attempt to force the opening of Trump’s IRS forms.

    The CNBC report says Trump will donate the related profits at the end of the year. That would go a long way toward solving the issue. The only problem is that we have seen that for Trump (paraphrasing the old saying), “donations delayed are donations denied.”

  2. Why are the DC AG Karl Racine and the Maryland AG Brian Frosh so by the book constitutionalists at this point in time? Surely they must have known of all the foreign donations to the CLINTON FOUNDATION that were ultimately funneled into Billarys campaign chest. Wasn’t this illegal? ?

    To say that every stripe of Democrat in power is pathetic is not saying enough.
    Instead of trying to move the country forward, these asshats are finding any excuse they can to attack President Trump.?

    The DUMBOCRATIC haters in deep blue states are probably safe. The ones in purple or red states are going to feel the wrath of the American electorate when their term in office is up. Beginning next year with the midterms. There will be such carnage after the votes are counted. The vile Democrats will have brought it upon themselves. The people who elected these vindictive sots expected them to work for them, not conduct witch hunts against their COMMANDER IN CHIEF.?

    Oh well, we all learn from our mistakes. It will be a PITY that these Democratic clowns will learn their lesson in the unemployment line.??

  3. Amazing the asshats that try to liken this to Hillary’s charitable foundation. The difference being, of course, is that there is direct evidence of Trump’s conflict of interest and his failure to meet constitutional requirements as opposed to mere conspiracy theory with regards to Clinton’s foundation.

    I welcome any direct evidence that any wrongdoing exists in her regard. Like the email “scandal”, none has ever been presented. I will wait patiently for this evidence to surface. Lol. It never does.

    • It doesn’t matter what type of damning evidence against the Clintons is presented to you. Face it you are like a horse with blinders on. You will detest the fact that YOUR president wakes up in the morning, or for that matter even draws breath.?

      I don’t know how old you are, but when Bill Clinton was running in the Democratic primary of 1991, he was caught in an affair with I believe Jennifer Flowers. 60 minutes interviewed him and Hillary because there was a fear that the affair would sink his candidacy. To my recollection he did most of the talking. When a question was asked of Hillary as to whether she would believe her husband, even though he was unfaithful, she said “I AM NOT THE DUTIFUL LITTLE WIFE WHO WILL STAND BY HER MAN”. From that moment, at least for me, I could see that she didn’t care about anything or anyone as long as she got her way. She would let Bubba engage in BEASTISLITY so long as she got her way.?

      If you haven’t seen that interview find it on YOUTUBE and I’ll bet your eyes will see things in a different light.?

      You keep talking about any direct evidence against the Clintons, except for baseless accusations against President Trump, what have the loony left come up with? Face it the way the Democrats, RINO’S and their lackeys in the MSM are attacking President Trump, they are making themselves look like clowns. Spurious accusation after accusation are being found completely without merit. The Democratic party will soon be rebranded as the KNOW NOTHING PARTY!!!?

  4. I like the book analogy. Those that are anti Trump will think it’s unimportant. When actually it’s the same thing.

    The bottom line is the anti Trump people will never stop crying or complaining.

      • You know that if 10 books were bought the headlines would read: Saudi King/Foreign Money Spends Billions to Enrich Trump’s Mega Book Deal.

        Yahoo, etc know that 90% of the people only read the headlines. Yes, Fox News is involved too.

  5. Trump outreach to the Muslim world comes as he continues pursuing a policy that is inherently anti-Muslim at home. As Trump, in his visit to Saudi Arabia, confirms his support of Saudi Arabia and the muslim concept, his administration is continuing to fight in court for the reinstatement of the travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries that Trump hoisted as a key component of his counterterrorism efforts.

    You cannot reconcile it.

      • Obama didn’t ban them, he only required extreme vetting. Also, it was a reaction to what some Iraqis did here, so Obama’s action was primarily aimed at Iraq. Trump deleted Iraq.

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