They claim that he is in violation of the part of the Constitution known as the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses. The Constitution prohibits any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland say they will sue President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House.
The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government entities, centers on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump said in January that he was shifting his business assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interests.
But D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests. For one, his son Eric Trump has said the president would continue to receive regular updates about his company’s financial health.
Obama received over a million dollars from Norway when he won the Nobel Prize. Of course he donated it to charity, Still, I don’t know that it matters that he did. Presidents in the past have divested of business interests. Other politicians have entered into blind trusts. Trump is the first to keep his holdings and stay involved. There can be no doubt that he is benefiting from them.
In any case, I have no idea if the lawsuits are viable.