US ethics group files suit against Trump
A GROUP including ex-White House ethics attorneys was to file a lawsuit yesterday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the US constitution.
The lawsuit, brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, would allege that the constitution’s emoluments clause forbade payments to Trump’s businesses. It would seek a court order forbidding Trump from accepting such payments, said Deepak Gupta, a lawyer on the case. Trump did business with countries such as China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the group noted.
“When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals… the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman,” it said.
A Trump representative referred questions to a law firm representing the president on ethics matters. “We do not comment on our clients or the work we do for them,” said a representative of the firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
The case was part of a wave of litigation expected to be filed against Trump by liberal advocacy groups, Gupta said.
The impending lawsuit was earlier reported by the New York Times. Trump’s son Eric Trump, an executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, told the Times on Sunday the company had taken more steps than required by law to avoid any possible legal exposure, such as agreeing to donate any profits collected at Trumpowned hotels that come from foreign government guests to the US Treasury.
“This is purely harassment for political gain.” – Reuters