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Maryland and D.C. plan to sue Trump over foreign payments

Posted June 12

The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to sue President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The attorneys general of Maryland and D.C., both Democrats, have scheduled a news conference for noon ET in Washington.

The suit, to be filed in federal court in Maryland, will allege that Trump has violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, according to the person.

It will cite not just the president's luxury hotel in Washington, which has been at the center of concerns about conflicts of interest, but his worldwide network of hotels, golf courses and other commercial properties, the person said.

Related: Trump's Justice Department fires back on claim he violated the Constitution

The suit will ask the court for an injunction blocking Trump from accepting foreign money, the person said. It will also ask for access to Trump's personal tax returns as part of the legal process known as discovery, the person said.

A similar was filed in January, moments after Trump was inaugurated, by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog organization.

Since then, a nonprofit restaurant group, a New York hotel and restaurant owner, and a woman who books events at hotels in Washington have joined the suit as plantiffs.

On Friday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to dismiss the case.

CREW is outside counsel on the lawsuit the attorneys general plan to file.

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