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Trump moves to dismiss congressional Emoluments Clause lawsuit

Trump moves to dismiss congressional Emoluments Clause lawsuit
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 200 Democratic lawmakers alleging that the president has violated a constitutional prohibition on taking gifts from foreign governments.

In a filing in D.C. District Court on Friday first highlighted by BuzzFeed News, government attorneys accused lawmakers of trying to circumvent the legislative process by turning to the courts because of their inability to pass legislation declaring Trump in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which bars the president from accepting gifts or other benefits from foreign leaders.

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"None of the bills has come to a vote, nor has the President done anything to prevent Congress from holding a vote," the motion to dismiss reads.

"Plaintiffs could not convince their own colleagues in Congress to take the actions they desired, and now seek the aid of the Judiciary to circumvent the legislative process prescribed by the Constitution."

The lawyers urged the court to dismiss the case "for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or for failure to state a claim." 

Some 200 House and Senate Democrats filed the lawsuit in June contending that by not divesting himself from his business interests, Trump stands in violation of the Emoluments Clause.

The lawsuit argues that members of Congress have special standing, because the Constitution requires the president to obtain lawmakers' consent before accepting gifts or other benefits from foreign governments.

Since taking office, Trump has faced numerous accusations of violating the Emoluments Clause due to the president's continued ownership of his real estate development company.

A particular flashpoint for those accusations is Trump's hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., which sits just a few blocks from the White House.

Critics and watchdog groups have argued that foreign officials have used visits to the hotel and other Trump properties to curry favor with the president.