via WaMu 88.5
A lawsuit filed by D.C. and Maryland against President Trump over his alleged business conflicts has been expanded to include Trump in his personal capacity as a businessman, which means that a summons has been sent to perhaps the most famous address in Washington: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The attorneys general for both states argue in a lawsuit that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which in part bans public officials from receiving gifts and payments from foreign governments without approval from Congress.
They argue that Trump’s refusal to divest from his sprawling business empire — in particular, the Trump International Hotel in downtown D.C. — has meant that foreign governments have directly paid the Trump Organization for hotel bookings and events.
The suit also alleges that businesses in both Maryland and D.C. have lost out on potential profits because groups are staying at Trump’s properties in order to curry favor with the president.
A similar emoluments lawsuit brought by an ethics watchdog and a restaurant group was tossed out earlier this year after a judge said the plaintiffs didn’t have standing. In dismissing that suit, the judge questioned whether it would be better for Congress to decide this emoluments issue rather than the courts.
But some legal experts say the Maryland and D.C. lawsuit may have a better chance of moving forward.
The move to name Trump as a personal defendant in the suit follows the suggestion of the federal judge in the case.
Trump’s lawyers have three weeks to respond.