US ethics group files suit against Trump

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - Dan Levine

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.

Trade deals

“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

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