Dems to examine whether Trump's business interests influence foreign policy

Dems to examine whether Trump's business interests influence foreign policy
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The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Wednesday that his panel will look at President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE's foreign business dealings and see if payments made to the Trump Organization have violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelAl Green says impeachment is 'only solution' to Trump's rhetoric Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) told CNN that the committee will be one of several pursuing probes into the president's businesses and foreign investments.

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"We want to make sure that policies are being made based on what's good for the United States and not what might be good for the president personally," Engel said. "I mean, there are a lot of people who look at the Constitution and say that it's being violated right now."

Government watchdog groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have slammed the Trump administration over alleged ethics violations, including the president's decision to place the Trump Organization in a trust controlled by two of his sons rather than fully divest.

Engel told CNN there could be merit to concerns about possible constitutional violations stemming from foreign governments and right-leaning organizations that have had financial transactions with the Trump Organization.

"I think we'll find out soon," Engel said. "I think it's a possibility."

The Trump administration is facing a lawsuit in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals brought by Maryland and the District of Columbia over the president's businesses. The lawsuit accuses the president of violating the Constitution by profiting off his businesses by accepting payments through his hotel in Washington, D.C. Arguments in that case are scheduled for March.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Engel's plans for an investigation.