In an unprecedented move, dozens of members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump.
The lawsuit claims Trump remains in clear violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which states that a president may not receive payments or gifts from foreign governments. Trump is in violation because he remains deeply invested in his substantial real estate empire – a business which continues to thrive from business tied to foreign governments.
Politico reports the news was confirmed by senior House Judiciary member Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who said, “We’ll be suing to stop his violations of the emoluments clause.”
Politico goes on:
The legal case is just the latest volley in an ongoing war between the White House and lawmakers — mostly Democrats — over potential conflicts of interests related to the Trump corporation’s overseas business deals and foreign governments looking to curry favor with the administration.
While similar to an existing lawsuit that was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – a case that continues to add more and more plaintiffs (including a number of hotel and restaurant owners who claim to be losing business because foreign leaders chose to have a Trump venue host their event) – Nadler thinks this particular lawsuit has teeth that the other suit does not.
“Members of Congress we say have standing because the emoluments clause says without the permission of Congress, you can’t accept any gift, etc., etc., from a foreign state. We are injured by being denied our right to vote on this, that’s our standing.”
Nadler goes on:
“There is almost no litigation on this since the Constitution was established…because no one has ever violated this the way we think Trump has. This president has huge business interests and hasn’t divested himself. And the result is if you go to a Trump hotel, you’re putting money into Trump’s personal pocket. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except if you’re a foreign government.”
As of the time of publication, the lawsuit had been signed by 78 House Democrats and 25 Senate Democrats.
We will continue to follow this story and will update you as information becomes available.