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GOP official calls suit against Trump 'absurd'

13 June 2017

Trump has stepped back from daily management of his businesses, which have been placed into a trust run by his sons and another close associate.

Democrats said that Trump violates the Constitution, which forbids public officials from accepting gifts or emoluments from foreign governments and economic benefits from federal or state governments (that are not his salary.) The objective of this ban is to curb corruption.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, will require the court to answer whether Trump has violated either the domestic or foreign emoluments clauses.

"Again, the reason why we're here is because the President of the United States, in a wholly unprecedented fashion, has made a decision to maintain a sprawling global business empire that accepts money without account from foreign governments", Mr Racine said.

The Republican National Committee called the lawsuit "absurd". Spicer suggested the lawsuit was motivated by politics.

"This is about whether the president is loyal to the American people and the American people alone", Gupta told the AP.

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The suit says, for example, the hotel diverts customers away from businesses the District of Columbia and Maryland own, license or tax, causing those governments direct financial harm.

The suit accuses Trump of violating the Constitution by letting his businesses accept payments from foreign governments.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and his D.C. counterpart, Karl Racine, didn't disclose the focus of the litigation, which they said in a statement they would formally announce Monday afternoon.

Both attorney generals allege with his business ties still intact President Trump gives off the illusion he's putting his personal business ahead of the business of the American people.

"The suit was filed by two Democratic attorney generals".

The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. That lawsuit is seeking a court order to compel Trump to divest from his business holdings on grounds that the constitution prohibits him from making money from foreign governments or making a profit beyond the presidential salary.

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The attorneys general for Maryland and Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump, alleging that he violated the Constitution's anti-corruption clauses by accepting payments from foreign governments since taking office.

They said the fight would likely end up before the Supreme Court.

Racine and Frosh contend Trump's actions "threaten the free and independent self-governance at the core of our democracy". "We can not treat a president's ongoing violations of the Constitution and disregard for the rights of the American people as the new and acceptable status quo".

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

But there's another angle to what the attorneys general may hope to accomplish with the latest lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which comes days after the Justice Department defended Trump's business empire from accepting foreign payments in a separate, similar case, alleges that the president has violated the Emoluments Clause by accepting millions of dollars in payments on properties his company owns.

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Trump retains ownership of his company and is to receive regular updates, the newspaper said.