Ethics Group to File Lawsuit Against Trump Over Illegal Foreign Payments
Jan 23, 2017 09:27 AM EST
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) group will file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging him over allowing his business entities to accept payments from foreign governments. The group together with former White House ethics attorneys will file the lawsuit against Trump on Monday.
The lawsuit will allege that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution, on the ground that the Constitution's emoluments clause forbids payments to Trump's businesses. Deepak Gupta, one of the lawyers working on the case, asserted that the lawsuit will seek out a court order interdicting Trump from accepting such payments.
CREW, having observed that Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, noted in a statement saying, "When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the Americans will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman."
Trump replied to CREW's allegation, calling it "purely harassment for political gain." His son Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, came to his father's defense, reportedly telling the New York Times that the company had taken legitimate steps to prevent any possible legal exposure, more than that required by the law. That includes donating any profits collected at Trump's hotels that come from foreign government guests, to the U.S. Treasury.
According to Gupta, the lawsuit will be filed in a Manhattan federal court and attorneys for the plaintiffs will include Richard Painter, a former ethics attorney in the former Republican President, George W. Bush's White House. Nevertheless, a larger wave of legal disputes coming from liberal advocacy groups, is expected to hit on Trump during his initial launch as the U.S. President.