AGs Sue Trump Over Business Conflicts
June 12, 2017
President Donald Trump has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by retaining ownership of his company when he assumed office, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia claim in a lawsuit. The suit claims that Trump has broken promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests, including continuing to get regular financial updates from his son. Trump’s continued ownership of a global business empire has rendered the president “deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors,” and has undermined the integrity of the U.S. political system, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh write in the suit. They allege the president has committed unprecedented constitutional violations – “Fundamental to a President’s fidelity to [faithfully execute his oath of office] is the Constitution’s demand that the President … disentangle his private finances from those of domestic and foreign powers,” the lawsuit claims. “Never before has a President acted with such disregard for this constitutional prescription.” Racine and Frosh say that, if a federal judge allows the lawsuit to proceed, they plan to demand Trump’s personal tax returns through the discovery process, to gauge the extent of his foreign business dealings.
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