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Monday, December 11, 2017

(Reuters) – A group including former White House ethics attorneys will file a lawsuit on Monday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Deepak Gupta, a Supreme Court litigator working on the case, said the lawsuit would allege that the Constitution’s emoluments clause forbids payments to Trump’s businesses. It will seek a court order forbidding Trump from accepting such payments, he said.

The case, reported earlier by the New York Times, is part of a wave of litigation expected to be filed against Trump by liberal advocacy groups. It will be filed in a Manhattan federal court, Gupta said, and plaintiffs will include Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House.

A Trump spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Trump’s son Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told the Times on Sunday that 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 Trump-owned hotels that come from foreign government guests to the U.S. Treasury.

“This is purely harassment for political gain,” Trump told the newspaper.

(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Cooney)

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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19 Responses to Ethics Lawyers To Sue Trump Over Foreign Payments

  1. This is a line of inquiry that deserves careful scrutiny and a thorough grilling of Donald, and perhaps should be supplemented by a vigorous investigation into Trump’s relationships with Putin. I think there are reasons to use this, and disclosures of the sexual assault cases brought up by women, to merit immediate impeachment of a creature barely deserving to be called a human being given his current egregious nature.

    In light of the attitudes and gangster-like methods of GOP and other detractors from the past 8 years who constantly banged the drum calling for locking someone up, blocking affordable healthcare(another violation of the spirit of being American), and the tiresome abuse of the spirit and intent of the framing of the Constitution to persistently use the 2nd Amendment for the right to play out fantasies of being gun toting fanatics, it is only fitting that Trump be hauled away unceremoniously in a paddy wagon straight from the Oval Office for charges of abuse of office, colluding with foreign agents inimical to the US, abuse of women, and inciting to riot while feigning to be an innocent bystander at his rallies.

    Now, that would be poetic justice in the finest tradition.

  2. Eric Trump complains, “This is purely harassment for political gain.”
    He is so naive.
    The ethic lawyers have filed a simple lawsuit in federal court.
    Harassment for political gain happens in House and Senate hearings, independent prosecutor investigations, and the august chambers of Inspectors General. Trump’s political harassment has not yet begun.

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    • Isn’t harassment for political gain how he got the nomination? Didn’t he threaten to sue the GOP if he didn’t get the nomination?

        • And now his Primary rivals — Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Calling Lindsay Graham — not to mention John McCain, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell all have much to gain from political attacks on Trump.
          And, they’re all really good at political harassment. They have years of experience.
          Hell, they don’t even ave to get their hands dirty. They can just stand aside when the Democrats go to work.
          Trump has no idea.

  3. First of many more lawsuits. The “no payments from foreign governments” clause of the Constitution has never been test in court, so this should be interesting. A plain reading of the Constitution seems to put Trump on very shaky ground.

    • Eric’s assertion that his father and his businesses have exceeded legal requirements is laughable; as is any suggestion that Eric Trump is knowledgeable about Constitutional law.
      The Trump family started to monetize and leverage Trump’s election from day one. They have been violating laws and common decency for decades.
      Trump’s business entanglements and ties to forgein entities need to be investigated and brought into the sunshine.

      • Maybe but Obama is not a Republican. Sure they opposed him but they opposed him on everything regardless of constitutionality or anything else. Their opposition to Obama wasn’t constitutionally based.

        Will they oppose Trump who violated the constitution in the moment he was sworn in. My guess is no.

        Let’s not forget that the Repubs also violated their constitutional mandate when they refused to even consider his SCOTUS nomination.

        • The Constitution does not set a time frame for the Senate to act on a SCOTUS judge. How did President Trump violate the Constitution? The “deal” with Iraq was to get around the Senate because he knew they would never approve a treaty. So he just changed the label from treaty to deal.

          • I believe it’s called the Emoluments Clause. He is receiving payments from foreign governments.

            My prediction is he will be impeached and gone within a year. I know some say that’s absurd since the Repubs control congress but many of them would much prefer Pence as president.

            It is a dereliction of constitutional duty to refuse to consider a president’s nomination. They didn’t have to approve the nomination but it is a cowardly act to do it the way they did. Yes, I know Dems have done similar in the past but that doesn’t make it right. The majority in each party are hypocrites.

          • I don’t see him getting impeached. It takes a huge majority of the house to impeach him. Then the Senate will never vote to remove him. His lawyers say he didn’t break any laws or rules. I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.

          • Trump doesn’t pay his lawyers to tell him he can’t do what he wants. They are there to advise him on how to circumvent the laws. So far in his career they have been pretty successful at that but the stage is bigger now.

            Normally I would tend to agree that a Repub controlled congress would not impeach a Repub president. But two things make it seem possible and to me even probable. First is that Trump’s arrogance will lead him to go too far for even Repubs to ignore and two, as I said before, they would prefer Pence. I think they will do it in the first year if possible to give Pence enough time to establish himself as a leader.

            “The “deal” with Iraq was to get around the Senate because he knew they would never approve a treaty. So he just changed the label from treaty to deal.” But don’t the Repubs control the Senate?

          • The deal with Iraq was to get around the Senate. He knew the Constitution mandates Senate approval for all treaties. He knew the Senate wouldn’t approve a treaty. So he went around the Constitution to make a treaty, but called it a deal. Even if the House was to impeach the President, the Senate would have to have a trial to remove him, and that won’t happen with a Republican Senate. Also 60 million or so that voted for him, will never put up with it. Any Republican that voted to impeach or remove him would never get elected again.

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