WASHINGTON- D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) on Monday filed suit against President Donald Trump, claiming he allegedly violated constitutional anti-corruption provisions.
“President Trump’s continued ownership interest in a global business empire, which renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the Constitution, calling into question the rule of law and the integrity of our political system,” the complaint states.
The Attorneys General filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. They are seeking injunctive relief against alleged violations of the Emoluments Clauses, which are codified in the U.S. Constitution.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 (The Foreign Emoluments Clause) and Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 (The Domestic Emoluments Clause) both prohibit elected officials from deriving non-salaried financial benefit from public office. The Founding Fathers drafted the Emoluments Clauses to prevent elected officials from being influenced by either foreign or domestic wealthy actors.
Trump has come under scrutiny for his alleged business dealings with American adversaries such as Russia and China. He has also been criticized for owning a hotel just blocks from the White House that is often frequented by both foreign diplomats and foreign businessmen.
The President has continually brushed off calls from Democrats to release his tax returns.
But last month Trump’s tax attorneys declared in a letter to the White House that the President’s IRS filings over the previous decade showed that he was for the most part free of any Russian income or debt.
The noted Russian exceptions involved a real estate sale and monies derived from the Moscow-hosted 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Republican National Committee spokesperson Lindsey Jancek told The New York Times on Monday that the suit is not only “absurd” but also is indicative of “the kind of partisan grandstanding voters across the country have come to despise.”
Jancek also told The New York Times that Democrats should: “end their efforts to delegitimize his (Trump’s) presidency.”