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US President sued after foreign officials stay at Trump Hotels

Parmenio Sano | 18 Giugno, 2017, 00:52

Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress sued President Trump on Wednesday, alleging that he is violating the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire.

"If he stonewalls us. we can not consent even if we want to do so", Blumenthal said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that almost 200 Democratic members of Congress were suing President Donald Trump because they believe he's acting unconstitutionally.

The two Democratic state attorneys general who sued President Donald Trump Monday over what they allege are his unconstitutional business practices told VICE News they didn't even try reaching out to their Republican colleagues to see if they'd join them.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer noted that response at a White House briefing Monday.

Those benefits violate the US Constitution's "emoluments clauses", which ban US officials from taking gifts or other benefits from foreign governments, the suit argues.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment but has said Trump's business interests do not violate the Constitution.

Caribbean-roots US Senator Kamala Harris and Caribbean-American Congressmember Yvette Clarke have both signed on to the unprecedented lawsuit, filed against President Trump Wednesday.

"The president's failure to tell us about these emoluments, to disclose the payments and benefits that he is receiving, mean that we can not do our job", Blumenthal said during a Tuesday conference call.

For one, some of the previous lawsuits came from Trump's competitors (which the Justice Department agreed to defend the president over).


A non-governmental organisation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew), lodged a similar legal action in January.

The lawsuit followed an earlier similar complaint by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed on January 23 in NY federal district court.

Democrats argue they have standing because congressional consent is required before the president can accept gifts and benefits from foreign leaders.

And this is actually the third such lawsuit against Trump.

It also gives incentives to government that will give businesses owned by Trump preferential treatment. The Post says the lawsuit centers on Trump retaining ownership of his company when he became president.

Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted that Trump has holdings in more than 20 foreign countries, but has not informed Congress what kinds of payments or benefits he is receiving.

Trump chose to maintain ownership of his company - the Trump Organization - after becoming president but announced in January that he would hand it over to his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump through a financial trust, in an effort to address concerns of potential conflicts of interest.

At least 30 US senators and 166 representatives are plaintiffs in Wednesday's lawsuit, representing the largest number of legislators ever to sue a USA president, according to two lawmakers who are among the plaintiffs.

But some legal experts said the new suit may progress further because the plaintiffs were government entities, which could have stronger standing to sue the president. "It's not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations behind the suit".

"The truth is we have no clue about the president's investors", he said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

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