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- Members of Congress are about to get their chance to battle President Donald Trump in court on Thursday.
- A lawsuit led by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal will get a hearing before a federal judge in Washington, DC.
- The lawsuit alleges that Trump is violating the foreign emoluments clause of the US Constitution.
- Blumenthal is joined by 200 members of Congress in the suit.
Members of Congress are about to get their chance to battle President Donald Trump in court over his foreign business dealings on Thursday.
The members of Congress, led by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, are joined by attorneys with the Constitutional Accountability Center in alleging that the president is in violation of the foreign emoluments clause of the US Constitution.
Prior to taking office, Trump opted to pass his stake in the company to his two sons and a senior executive at the business instead of divesting himself of the assets, as past presidents had done and as ethicists implored him to do. And Blumenthal, in the suit, alleges that the Trump Organization’s acceptance of business tied to foreign governments is violating that arcane constitutional clause.
Blumenthal told reporters in a conference call that he is concerned by recent trademarks China awarded to Trump businesses, “the deals with the Trump organization around the world, the pattern of dealings by the Trump Hotel here in Washington with foreign governments, and in fact the appointment of a sales manager to deal with those foreign governments specifically.”
Blumenthal, the lead plaintiff, is joined by 200 members of Congress. The clause of the Constitution they are highlighting says that elected officials shall receive no gifts, payments, or benefits from foreign governments without the consent of Congress.
Trump’s side has argued that he is not in violation of this clause, and the Trump Organization donated what it said were all profits from foreign government officials at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, earlier this year.
“We are the only ballgame, the only parties that can enforce the emoluments clause against defiance and lawbreaking by the president of the United States on a core principle and tenet of the United States Constitution,” Blumenthal said.
This lawsuit is not the only one the president is facing regarding the emoluments clause, as two state attorney generals advanced a lawsuit on the matter earlier this year. As is the case in that lawsuit, the Department of Justice is representing Trump in this battle.
The hearing is set for Thursday morning before US District Judge Emmet Sullivan. It will take place in US District Court in Washington, DC.
Blumenthal did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.