Maryland, DC attorneys general plan lawsuit against Trump

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Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh and the attorney general of Washington, DC will file a lawsuit against President Trump.

The suit will claim that Trump violated a constitutional provision called the emoluments clause, which states USA officials can't accept gifts or benefits from foreign governments.

The lawsuit will also reportedly claim that Trump has created a situation in which foreign governments are competing for his favor by offering various incentives to his businesses.

The attorneys general allege that Trump has violated the Constitution through leases of Trump properties held by foreign governments as well as foreign governments buying condominiums and hotel rooms in properties owned by the Trump organization, including the Trump hotel in Downtown Washington. For one, his son Eric Trump has said the president would continue to receive regular updates about his company's financial health. The case would likely end up before the Supreme Court and the president's lawyers could explain why his returns should not be made public, Frosh and Racine told the Post.

This is not the first time Trump has been accused of violating the clause.

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District of Columbia Atty.

Racine said he felt obligated to sue Trump in part because the Republican-controlled Congress has not taken the president's apparent conflicts seriously.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed with the US District Court for the District of Maryland. The litigation is similar to a case filed this year by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a Washington watchdog group. Trump himself has appeared at the hotel and greeted guests repeatedly since becoming president.

Aside from the issue of the foreign payments ban, Maryland and Washington complain that the presence of a Trump hotel hurts competing hotels in their jurisdictions. The justice department is seeking to have the suit dismissed.

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