Democratic lawmakers sue Trump over payments by foreign states
WASHINGTON – ReutersMore than 190 Democratic lawmakers sued President Donald Trump in federal court on yesterday, saying he had accepted funds from foreign governments through his businesses without congressional consent in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The complaint said Trump had not sought congressional approval for any of the payments his hundreds of businesses had received from foreign governments since he took office in January, even though the Constitution requires him to do so. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment but has said Trump’s business interests do not violate the Constitution.
The Trump Organization has said it will donate profits from customers representing foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury but will not require such customers to identify themselves.
At least 30 U.S. senators and 166 representatives are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, representing the largest number of legislators ever to sue a U.S. president.
The Constitution’s “foreign emoluments” clause bars U.S. officeholders from accepting payments and various other gifts without congressional approval.
“The president’s failure to tell us about these emoluments, to disclose the payments and benefits that he is receiving, mean that we cannot do our job. We cannot consent to what we don’t know,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the lawmakers bringing the lawsuit, in a conference call on.
Representative John Conyers, another plaintiff, added: “President Trump has conflicts of interest in at least 25 countries, and it appears he’s using his presidency to maximize his profits.”