US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM
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The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Monday filed a lawsuit claiming that government payments to President Donald Trump's businesses violate the U.S. Constitution.Payments to the president's enterprises from foreign and domestic governments through his hospitality empire draw business away from Maryland and D.C. venues and put local governments under pressure to give Trump-owned businesses special treatment, according to the complaint.The Maryland and D.C. attorneys general will seek an order in U.S. district court in Maryland preventing Trump from continuing to receive government payments beyond his salary.Trump's ownership in hundreds of businesses not only financially hurts Maryland and D.C. but also violates "emoluments" clauses in the Constitution that bar the president from accepting gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval as well as from domestic governments under any circumstances, according to the attorneys' general complaint.
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