Ethics lawyers to sue Trump over foreign payments

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By Dan Levine

<span class="articleLocation”>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.

The lawsuit, brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and
Ethics in Washington, will 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, said Deepak Gupta, one of the lawyers working on the
case.

Trump does business with countries like China, India,
Indonesia and the Philippines, the group noted in a statement.

“When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals
with these countries, the American people will have no way of
knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of
Trump the businessman,” it said.

A Trump representative referred questions to a law firm
representing the president on ethics matters.

“We do not comment on our clients or the work we do for
them,” said the representative of the firm, Morgan Lewis &
Bockius.

The case 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 attorneys for the
plaintiffs will include Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer
in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House.

The impending lawsuit was earlier reported by the New York
Times.

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.



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