Nearly 200 congressional democrats are suing President Trump, with the file alleging that the president’s business, the Trump Organization’s dealing with foreign governments are violating the constitution.
This lawsuit would be a first for the country, with the number of congressional plaintiffs far outweighing any previous lawsuit against a president.
“We do this not out of any sense of pleasure or partisanship, but because President Trump has left us with no other option,” said Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
The Trump Organization does business with more than two dozen countries, and has many businesses under it. Though the laws on this are not as well defined, the lawsuit has a small chance of succeeding as president Trump has yet to divest himself from his businesses.
The Daily Caller reports:
Though the Constitution does not preclude federal office-holders from doing business with foreign powers, the little-known and rarely litigated Article I emoluments clause forbids public officials from accepting gifts of value or receiving special treatment in commercial dealings with foreign interests without the approval of Congress.
According to court filings, the president’s eponymous Trump Organization is composed of some 500 separate entities spanning two dozen countries, many of whom do business with foreign governments. Congressional Democrats contend that Trump has violated the emoluments clause because these entities — from which he is not divested — have done business with foreign governments.
The forthcoming litigation is the latest in a series of suits lodged against Trump over emoluments. The first such lawsuit was organized in January by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), an advocacy group formerly led by Clinton aide David Brock. A number of accomplished lawyers and legal scholars are participating in the effort, including Laurence Tribe, the legendary Harvard Law School professor; Erwin Chemerinsky, incoming dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley; and Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House.