Two U.S. attorneys general, one from Washington D.C. and one from Maryland, announced that they will sue President Donald Trump for accepting money from foreign countries and violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution, The Washington Post reports.
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh are contesting that President Trump has not sufficiently separated his public and private interests, causing him to violante the "emoluments clause" (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution), which says that a country should not receive unfair advantages because of private money or benefits given to the president.
Racine and Frosh told the Post that the lawsuit was sparked by Trump staying on as the owner of his global business when he took office.
According to CNBC, Trump's team argues that standard continuation of his business isn't a violation of the Constitution, but Racine and Frosh counter that the size of Trump's conglomerate, specifically the Trump Hotel in D.C., is becoming a conflict of interest by hosting foreign diplomats. The attorneys general say the larger concern is that foreign countries and domestic states might favor Trump's businesses—by, say, staying in a Trump hotel or playing on a Trump golf course—in exchange for Trump's support, CNBC reports.
One of the first steps will be looking at Trump's ever-elusive tax returns to see exactly where his money is coming from. If the suit proceeds, the goal is an injunction forcing Trump to stop violating the Constitution—basically a court order telling him to stop—but that's a pretty vague goal at this point.
This might seem like small potatoes compared to the ongoing investigation into Russia's role in the presidential election, but any violation of the Constitution by the POTUS is a "yuge" deal.