A reporter asked President Donald Trump what he thought of the new lawsuit that claims he’s violating the Constitution because his companies are taking money from foreign governments.
“Without merit,” he said. “Totally without merit.” And left it at that.
This complaint, filed Monday in a New York federal court, comes from CREW: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Their legal team includes Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe and Richard W. Painter, former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
“These violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause pose a grave threat to the United States and its citizens. As the Framers were aware, private financial interests can subtly sway even the most virtuous leaders, and entanglements between American officials and foreign powers could pose a creeping, insidious threat to the Republic,” the lawsuit reads.
This issue has been debated for a while. Is Trump, with his international business dealings, violating the Constitution? He says no. Presidents typically divest all business assets upon taking office, but Trump has instead handed day-to-day operation of his empire to sons Eric and Donald, Jr.
“This is purely harassment for political gain, and, frankly, I find it very, very sad,” Eric Trump told The New York Times on Sunday.
The case has been assigned to Judge Ronnie Abrams, who is the sister of LawNewz.com’s founder, Dan Abrams.
Chris White contributed to this report.
[Screengrab via CNN]