Trump: Ethics lawsuit 'without merit'

Trump: Ethics lawsuit 'without merit'
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President Trump on Monday dismissed an ethics lawsuit filed against him as being “without merit.”
 
“Totally without merit,” Trump told a reporter in the Oval Office who asked about the suit. 
 
A team of ethics attorneys, constitutional scholars and former White House lawyers have sued Trump, accusing him of being in violation of the Constitution for allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments. 
 
The lawsuit was filed Monday morning in the Southern District of New York by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning watchdog group. 
 
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“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.
 
The lawyers say Trump is violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. 
 
That section, aimed at curbing corruption, states “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the congress, accept of any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
 
In an effort to curb conflicts, Trump has said he has left his businesses and handed control of them over to his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and a third company official. Trump has also said that he'll donate money spent by foreign government at his hotels to the Treasury.
 
But ethics experts say the plan falls short of the standard met by past presidents, who have divested from their assets and placed them into a blind trust. 
 
Trump’s stake in his business empire is being placed in a trust to which he can have limited access.