It’s no secret that Trump’s legal troubles are piling up and that every time Special Counsel Robert Mueller digs a little bit deeper in his investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia government offices, Trump’s and his associates’ finances from even before his time as president prove to not always be on the up and up. A newly expanded emoluments lawsuit filed by attorneys general in Maryland and the District of Columbia on Friday targets Trump not only as a government official, but as a private citizen.
According to The Associated Press:
‘The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland, is one of several recent cases challenging Trump’s ties to his business ventures and his refusal to divest from them. The suits allege that foreign governments’ use of Trump’s hotels and other properties violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans the president’s acceptance of foreign gifts and money without Congress’ permission. The clause has never been fully tested in federal court and Trump’s Justice Department attorneys have argued that hotel room stays do not represent “foreign gifts.”’
The bottom line is that Pres. Trump, by continuing to accept money from foreign & domestic governments, is violating our nation's original anti-corruption law—the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.@BrianFrosh & I are suing because no one is above the law: https://t.co/8vUKWtmPvT
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) February 24, 2018
The move is unprecedented, just as Trump’s business ties to foreign countries are for the president of the United States. This is exactly the reason that every other president in history sold their businesses and cut those ties before being sworn in at their first inaugurations.
The question remains as to whether solely seeking evidence of Trump’s moves to financially benefit from his presidency can truly be investigated using his actions in an official capacity can be considered conclusive considering that Trump has not, and has no intentions of, cutting those business ties. On those grounds, an exploration of Trump’s private finances and actions as a private citizen are warranted.
‘While we continue to believe that the complaint would be sufficient as to the president in his official capacity, the court’s questions at the hearing suggested that as an independent and alternate ground, it might be sound to proceed against the president in his personal capacity as well.’
Just got back from an Indivisible Montgomery meeting with our state Attorney General, @BrianFrosh – standing room only for his updates on gun safety & emoluments lawsuit against Trump! @IndivisibleTeam pic.twitter.com/X8oZiHV7jc
— Karen Murphy ? (@MDHillRaiser) February 24, 2018
One thing is for sure: the more any law official digs into Trump and his bank accounts, the more trouble Trump faces. Are his actions as both a public official and a private citizen in line with ethical guidelines? It seems some attorneys general are insisting on finding the truth behind that question.
Featured image via Getty/NurPhoto