Trump Ethics Lawsuit: Have POTUS' business conflicts finally caught up with him?

Trump Ethics Lawsuit: Have POTUS' business conflicts finally caught up with him?
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

On Monday, President Donald Trump will be hit with a lawsuit that alleges he's in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits politicians from receiving payments from foreign governments.

The lawsuit alleges Trump's business empire violates this clause, as foreign leaders and governments spend money to stay in Trump hotels and live and rent space in his various other real estate holdings, according to the New York Times.

The lawsuit will be filed in New York by a group of legal powerhouses that includes former White House ethics lawyers from both sides of the aisle, Supreme Court litigators and well-known constitutional scholars. 

Trump's team, for its part, is dismissive of the lawsuit, claiming he's not in violation of the Constitution.

"No one would have thought when the Constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was an emolument," Sheri Dillon, a lawyer who worked on Trump's plan to try and eliminate potential conflicts of interest, said of the emoluments clause at a news conference in January.

Legal experts told the New York Times that the lawsuit might have trouble getting through the courts, saying the plaintiff in the case — the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — might not have standing.

In layman's terms, that means the group may have trouble proving it was directly harmed by Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause. 

CREW, however, says it has had to expend resources to answer questions about Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause, taking time away from other work it could be doing. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

MORE FROM

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."