Trump Ethics Lawsuit: Have POTUS' business conflicts finally caught up with him?


On Monday, President Donald Trump will be hit with a lawsuit that alleges he's in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits politicians from receiving payments from foreign governments.

The lawsuit alleges Trump's business empire violates this clause, as foreign leaders and governments spend money to stay in Trump hotels and live and rent space in his various other real estate holdings, according to the New York Times.

The lawsuit will be filed in New York by a group of legal powerhouses that includes former White House ethics lawyers from both sides of the aisle, Supreme Court litigators and well-known constitutional scholars. 

Trump's team, for its part, is dismissive of the lawsuit, claiming he's not in violation of the Constitution.

"No one would have thought when the Constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was an emolument," Sheri Dillon, a lawyer who worked on Trump's plan to try and eliminate potential conflicts of interest, said of the emoluments clause at a news conference in January.

Legal experts told the New York Times that the lawsuit might have trouble getting through the courts, saying the plaintiff in the case — the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — might not have standing.

In layman's terms, that means the group may have trouble proving it was directly harmed by Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause. 

CREW, however, says it has had to expend resources to answer questions about Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause, taking time away from other work it could be doing.