Michael Vadon / Flickr trump at podium...
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress are suing Donald Trump for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, the third such lawsuit Trump faces. Previously businesses in competition with Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel and the attorneys general of Washington, D.C., and Maryland had filed suits. The multiple suits make it more likely that one will be allowed to proceed, because:

… each new set of plaintiffs makes it harder for the Justice Department to defend the president on the grounds that his opponents have no legal standing to sue him, Mr. Trump’s critics said. “It puts the government in the position of saying that nobody can address this — not hotel competitors, not states, not members of Congress,” said Norman Eisen, the chairman of CREW, which started the legal efforts. “And you cannot get away with that in a rule-of-law system.”

[Sen. Richard] Blumenthal, a former Connecticut attorney general, said the president’s companies did business in about 20 countries but were shrouded in secrecy, making it impossible for Congress to carry out its constitutional duty of determining whether he was receiving illegal benefits or emoluments. “The truth is we have no clue about the president’s investors,” he said in an interview with reporters Tuesday. “How much is Russian money?”

“What we are seeking first and foremost is disclosure,” he said. “We cannot consent to what we don’t know.”

Disclosure, of course, is potentially very dangerous to Trump, whether it ends up unveiling financial ties to Russia or the scope of his presidential grift with other countries.

Here’s a list of the 196 congressional plaintiffs.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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