Plans to sue President Trump over allegedly taking foreign government payments

Racine and Frosch referred to those articles of the U.S. Constitution, known as the "provisions on remuneration".

The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits officeholders from accepting foreign gifts or other benefits without Congress' consent; its domestic counterpart bars federal or state compensation of the president beyond his salary.

On the other hand, Attorney General Frosh, said, "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".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted Trump's "interests do not violate the Emoluments Clause" and said partisan politics in behind this lawsuit.

Monday's filing comes on the heels of other lawsuits challenging Trump's decision to financially benefit from his enterprises while serving in the White House.

The challenge "represents an important new front in the emoluments war", according to Norman Eisen, head of the non-profit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that also filed a similar suit in NY on behalf of private plaintiffs.

A small wine bar in the nation's capital also has filed a separate suit, claiming Trump's Washington hotel and restaurant, located in a federally owned building not far from the White House, pose unfair competition. Congressional Democrats are expected to file a similar suit. But questions continue to be raised whether that arrangement adequately meets the ethical standards that Americans should expect of their president.

The Justice Department on Friday said that those plaintiffs lack the legal standing to sue because they can not properly explain or allege the particular harm caused by the Trump's businesses. Legal experts disagree on what constitutes an emolument and whether Mr. Trump has violated the clause or not.

"We do not sue the president of the United States casually", Frosh said.

"The emolument clauses are a firewall against presidential corruption", said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh."He's going to have to answer in court".

Racine acknowledged the case could break new ground.

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 attorneys general aren't the first to sue Trump over emoluments. The IRS notes that even if there is an audit, that is no reason not to release them. He has handed day-to-day operations over to his two adult sons, but he's still profiting from his businesses.

They pledged to pursue no new foreign deals during Trump's presidency but have traveled the globe - from Dubai to the Dominican Republic - to work on projects conceived before their father took office. They're entitled to say, 'the Constitution is being violated, ' (and) that's a harm by itself.

The Trump Organization has said it will donate profits from customers representing foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury but will not require the customers to identify themselves. The Saudis spent $270,000 at Trump's hotel while lobbying against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which would allow US citizens to sue other governments for terrorist attacks. Frosh and Racine listed attorneys for CREW as co-counsel in the suit filed Monday.

Vanessa Coleman

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