Senate Democrats have once again spoken out against President Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.
On Thursday, The Hill revealed that a number of Senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), are looking into filing a lawsuit against Trump on the grounds that he may be in violation of the Constitution with his business deals.
No official decision has been made regarding the lawsuit; however, several other Democratic Senators, including Ben Cardin of Maryland, have confirmed that Blumenthal pitched the idea.
Cardin told The Hill:
‘I’m yielding to him on the legal issues. I’m not a constitutional scholar on standing, so if he can figure out a way to do it, I’m rooting for him.’
Blumenthal’s efforts were also confirmed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and even Hillary Clinton’s former running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
Feinstein said that Blumenthal is currently “leading an effort, asking each one of us to contribute an amount of money for a court case.”
She added that “the hope” is for 41 senators to join in.
Durbin also said that he is “very interested in looking at” a lawsuit, although it’s something he wants to “sit down and talk to” Blumenthal about.
Blumenthal’s office has so far declined to provide many details about the potential lawsuit. However, he did explain to The Hill that he is currently “considering courses of action that would enable [the Senate] to hold [Trump] and others in the administration accountable for their conflicts of interest.”
‘We’re very seriously considering all the courses of action that may be open to us because these conflicts of interest are so serious … and they affect not only the president very deeply but also others in the administration.’
Blumenthal’s spokeswoman, Maria McElwain, expressed similar statements, saying that the Senator is “focused on how to make sure that the Trump Administration is held accountable for its unprecedented conflicts of interest, and ensure that no one — not even the President — is above the law.”
It seems highly likely that Blumenthal and other Senate Democrats will have a case against the President. Trump has been accused repeatedly of violating the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution as a result of his numerous foreign business dealings. He recently was also caught profiting from public pension funds, which may also make him guilty of violating the domestic emoluments clause.
In addition to supporting a lawsuit, Senator Feinstein and other congressional Democrats are also trying to figure out a way to deny payments for certain White House expenses, such as Trump’s sons’ travel costs.
Feinstein assured The Hill that, like the lawsuit, no concrete decisions have been made yet regarding potentially denying payments. She did say, though, that “it’s being done by people who really have a great sense of ethics,” and added that she and her fellow Senators are “working on all of these to get good solid legal answers.”
She also explained that Democrats are making a “concentrated effort to put a program together which would involve non-payment of certain expenses, divestment … and then we’re taking a good look at conflicts of interest and trademarks.”
Featured image via Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg via Getty Images.