06/20/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2017 18:17
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and 200 Members of Congress have filed a federal lawsuit against President Trump for violating one of the Constitution's critical anti-corruption provisions: the Foreign Emoluments Clause. The emoluments clause prohibits the President from accepting foreign payments without seeking and receiving Congressional authorization.
'Foreign influence in our government is a threat so significant, the founders included clauses in our constitution meant to prevent it. Yet President Trump appears to be in direct conflict with those prohibitions. With investments and dealings around the world, he is very likely profiting from his position. And his refusal to disclose his holdings even as he embraces strongmen like Putin raise concerns that he is working against our interests. He even refuses to acknowledge Russian meddling - something confirmed by our intelligence community. We need to get to the bottom of Trump's conflicts of interest and hold this President accountable as the Constitution requires. That is what this lawsuit will do.'
From the beginning of his Administration, President Trump's embrace of Russia, pandering to Saudi Arabia, and sudden weakness before China have raised urgent questions about his financial conflicts of interest. Since the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week, public reporting has revealed that President Trump has received additional foreign benefits - including new trademarks in China - and is brokering business deals in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf while regional tensions escalate.
The Emoluments Clause provides that 'no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.'
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