Why this lawsuit against Trump could be different

"The suit alleges that president Trump is flagrantly violating the constitution, which explicitly bars presidents from receiving gifts or inducements from foreign or domestic government entities", said Washington Attorney General Karl Racine. The suit says that despite billionaire Trump having placed his extensive business holdings in a trust after he was elected president, he still owns the properties and is well-aware of the money they are earning him. Earlier this year, for example, the Kuwaiti embassy, which for many years had held its national day celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel, held the event instead at Trump's hotel. The lawsuit accuses President Trump of violating both.

Maryland and the USA capital sued President Donald Trump today, saying he is breaking laws by raking in money from foreign governments and businesses at his luxury hotels and office towers. "We'll have a lot more after we get discovery". As Grewel observes, "market-rate transactions between the Trump Organization and foreign governments do not come within the clause".

It also argued that the emoluments clause was never meant to target a president's private businesses, unconnected with his official office or actions. They allege that Trump has used the presidency to draw attention to his properties, and that foreign and domestic officials have openly stated they're more likely to stay in Trump hotels in order to curry favor with the President. "If that's not a harm to every American citizen and every resident in the District of Columbia and Maryland, I don't know what is". Just days after Trump's inauguration in January, the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of NY.

"Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements".

If the case moves forward, Racine and Frosh will demand Trump release his tax returns, which he has controversially refused to do so far.

Indeed, as Prof. Kontorovich notes, President George Washington even asked a British official to help find renters for his land: "On Dec. 12, 1793, Washington wrote to Arthur Young, an officer of the U.K. Board of Agriculture ..."

This is linked to the fact Trump maintained ownership of his company after entering the White House.

. The president called an earlier, similar lawsuit about the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution an issue "without merit, totally without merit".

A public-relations firm hired by Saudi Arabia, which Trump visited on his first trip overseas as president, spent more than $270,000 on rooms, meals and parking at Trump's hotel.

During Monday's White House Press Briefing, spokesman Sean Spicer said the suit was brought by two Democratic Attorneys General and an "advocacy group with partisan ties". "So it's not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations behind the suit".