States sue Trump for “unprecedented constitutional violations”

States sue Trump for “unprecedented constitutional violations”The lawsuit, filed by DC attorney general Karl Racine and Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh in a Maryland federal court, alleges that Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the US constitution by failing to relinquish ownership of his vast business holdings.

This is reported by The Guardian.

“The emoluments clauses are a firewall against presidential corruption,” Frosh told journalists at a press conference in Washington on Monday. “And the one thing we know about the president is he understands the value of walls. This is one he can’t climb over and it’s one he can’t dig underneath.”

The emoluments clause stipulates that the president and government officials cannot benefit financially from the office they hold and prohibits them from receiving gifts and payments of anything of value from a foreign government or the states.

Trump did not fully divest from his global business empire after being elected president, instead retaining ownership and handing over control to his two adult sons to run the day to day operations.

“President Trump’s continued ownership interest business empire, which renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the constitution and calls into question the rule of law and the integrity of the country’s political system,” the lawsuit alleges.

The suit asks for a “declaratory judgement” that Trump has violated the emoluments clauses and that he will continue to do so until he divests entirely from his businesses. It is also seeking an immediate injunction that forces the president to stop violating the clauses.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer brushed off the case as another example of “partisan politics” and said: “We’ll continue to move to dismiss this case in the normal course of business.”

“The president’s interests, as previously discussed, do not violate the emoluments clause,” Spicer said.

“It’s not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations behind the suit,” Spicer continued. “The suit was filed by two Democratic attorney generals. The lawyers driving the suit are an advocacy group with partisan ties.”

During the press conference, Racine and Frosh denied that the case was partisan or political motivated and invited Republican attorneys general to join their lawsuit.

“We are a nation of laws, and no one including the president is above the law,” Racine said. He added: “What are we to do? Sit back and allow the president to police himself?”

This is not the first federal lawsuit to accuse the president of violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, but the case is novel. No state has accused a president of violating the emoluments clause.
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