Nearly 200 House And Senate Democrats Sue Trump Over Profiting From Deals With Foreign Governments

The New York Times reports:

Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress are expected to file a federal lawsuit on Wednesday accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments.

The plaintiffs — believed to be the most members of Congress to ever sue a sitting president — contend that Mr. Trump has ignored a constitutional clause that prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts, or emoluments, from foreign powers without congressional approval.

It is the third such lawsuit against Mr. Trump on the issue since he became president, part of a coordinated effort by the president’s critics to force him to reveal his business entanglements and either sell off his holdings or put them in a blind trust.

Like the previous two federal lawsuits, this one, to be filed in federal court in Washington, accuses Mr. Trump of illegally profiteering from his businesses in a variety of ways, including collecting payments from foreign diplomats who stay in his hotels and accepting trademark approvals from foreign governments for his company’s goods and services.

More from Politico:

The 54-page complaint targets a wide array of Trump’s business ventures, from Trump Tower spaces rented to foreign governments, to “The Apprentice” re-runs aired by state-owned foreign broadcasters, to trademarks the Chinese government has granted Trump to use his brand in China for construction services, catering and clothing.

“Because Defendant is not coming to Congress and identifying the emoluments he wishes to accept, the American people will have no way of knowing whether his actions as President reflect only his beliefs about what is best for the country, or whether they are partly motivated by personal financial considerations,” the suit says.

The new suit was filed just two days after the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland filed a joint suit in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, making similar arguments on behalf of the people of those jurisdictions. In addition, a pair of lawsuit were filed in New York last year challenging the legality of Trump’s business dealings with foreign entities.