Attorneys general in Maryland, DC to bring 'major lawsuit' against President Trump

News reports that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and D.C. A.G., Karl Racine, did not disclose the focus of the litigation.

According to ABC News, the lawsuit alleges that Trump violated the Constitution in regards to his business dealings. But this is the first one presented by government entities.

The Maryland General Assembly approved a resolution allowing frosh to sue the federal government without permission from Governor Hogan last March.

It says that despite shifting his business empire into a trust run by his sons, his ownership made the president "deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors", the report says. The entrance to the Trump International Hotel in D.C. was splashed with guerilla art in May, suggesting that foreign guest could drop off bribes inside. That fight would most likely end up before the Supreme Court, the two said, with Trump's attorneys having to defend why the returns should remain private.

The Post cited examples of foreign government showing preference for that hotel over others, at what neighbouring Maryland and Washington say is their expense.


"We're getting in here to be the check and balance that it appears Congress is unwilling to be", he told the daily.

A similar was filed in January, moments after Trump was inaugurated, by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog organization. Justice Department lawyers also contended that Trump hotel revenue is no an improper payment under the Constitution.

Prior to becoming the president, Trump handled businesses that own hotels in New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami.

Norman Eisen, who served as White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama and is CREW's board chairman, said jurisdictions such as the District and Maryland are among the "most ideal plaintiffs" to sue over emoluments because they have a coequal say in making sure the Constitution is being enforced.

That puts the district in a "unique position" to file legal claims over the emoluments clause, Racine said.

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