Gorsuch has unanimous first opinion for Supreme Court

CNN's Toobin: DC and Maryland Suit Against Trump 'A Political Attempt' to 'Interfere' with and 'Damage the Presidency'

Gorsuch has unanimous first opinion for Supreme Court

"We have economic interests that are impacted, but the most salient factor is that when the President is subject to foreign influence, we have to be concerned about whether the actions he's taking - both at home and overseas - are the result of payments that he is receiving at the Trump Hotel, payments that he is receiving at Mar-a-Lago, payments that he is receiving at Trump Tower, payments that he is receiving in all of his other far-flung enterprises, and he brags about it", Frosh told the AP.

He referred to a similar suit filed in January by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a DC-based watchdog group, and said "it's not hard to conclude that partisan politics is behind this suit".

Their suit, filed in Maryland federal court, alleges that Trump's real estate and business holdings violate a little-known emoluments clause of the Constitution which bar the President and other government employees from accepting foreign gifts and payments without congressional approval. She says the lawsuit represents "the kind of partisan grandstanding voters across the country have come to despise".

"Never before has a President acted with such disregard for this constitutional prescription." it says.

The emoluments clause stipulates that the president and government officials can not benefit financially from the office they hold and prohibits them from receiving gifts and payments of anything of value from a foreign government or the states.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

Frosh says "elected leaders must serve the people, and not their personal financial interests".

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh made the announcement at a jointly held news conference in Washington, confirming the suit has been filed in a court in Maryland.

Racine said the president has spoken about drawing a line between the presidency and his many businesses and properties, but he "has walked his promise back". "He adds the two officials are seeking to serve as a "check and balance" against the president".

This is not the first federal lawsuit to accuse the president of violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, but the case is novel.

During one White House dinner, Comey recalled that the president asked him for "loyalty" and to lay off his former national security advisor Michael Flynn - who is under criminal investigation over his Russian Federation ties - imploring Comey to "let this go".

While the president was unusually quiet on his preferred communication platform, Twitter, his son Donald Trump Jr live-tweeted throughout Comey's testimony.

"President Trump's continued ownership interest business empire, which renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the constitution and calls into question the rule of law and the integrity of the country's political system", the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also focuses on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump was supposed to shift business assets into his sons' trust to eliminate the prospects of his son having conflicts of interests.

Latest News