196 Members of Congress: Suing Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik.

The lawsuits against the Tiny Tyrant are piling up, and a good part of congress has decided to join in, this time dealing with the emoluments clause, which has been utterly shredded by the Tiny Tyrant, who seems to think this whole presidenting thing is just like his many sleazy real estate cons. He’s not entirely wrong about that, but he hasn’t even so much as made an effort at appearances. Unfortunately, this particular lawsuit will only deal with forcing the Tiny Tyrant to abide by the constitution. If successful though, it may provide the means of exposing the so-called business empire, so people can finally have a peek inside and see what’s truly there, and what isn’t.

Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers will file suit against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, alleging that he is violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign governments through his businesses while president.

The plaintiffs include 30 Senators and 166 members of the House of Representatives — but a source familiar with the lawsuit said more lawmakers could join an amended complaint later if they wished. The case will be lead by the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center.

The lawsuit — and the sheer number of members of Congress participating — reflects the deep frustration of Democratic lawmakers with the leeway the White House has been given by the Republican majority in Congress.

Traditionally, Congress is taxed with oversight and accountability of the executive branch, which they carry out through hearings and other means. But the way Congress is set up gives extraordinary control to the majority party — and the Republicans in charge of the oversight committees have refused to investigate Trump, a Republican president, on issues involving his business activities.

Hamstrung by more traditional oversight means, and already shut out of any sort of working relationship with the president, Democratic lawmakers have now turned to the courts to try to force Trump to comply with the Constitution.


They also serve another purpose: As part of their discovery process, it is likely that the plaintiffs will ask for Trump’s tax returns.

From foreign profits to foreign debt, Trump has been unprecedentedly opaque about his finances for an American president. His tax returns pose the best chance at clearing up lingering questions over conflicts of interest and whether his decisions as president stand to benefit his pockets as a citizen.

But Trump has thus far refused all calls to make his tax returns public — meaning that these lawsuits may pose the public’s best chance at finally getting a look at exactly what the president’s business empire really looks like.

Think Progress has the full story.


  1. komarov says

    No kidding it’s about time. This should have been started in February.

    Also too late. In his place I would have started stockpiling presidential pardons for myself on my first day. There’s probably also a badly written executive order sitting in the oval office safe, making self-pardoning legal. He can just whip it out once the noose gets too tight, should the Republicans not pass the laws to protect him in time.

  2. says

    Alas, I do not believe it will lead anywhere. But if it will, it will restore my faith in humanity very, very sligthly.

  3. says

    komarov @4, I think you give the Angry Cheeto too much credit. He almost certainly has not made any preparations to shield himself against consequences of his own bad actions, because frankly, he’s never in his life needed to make any such preparations. Up to now, his wealth and his privilege have shielded him sufficiently that he’s always been able to bullshit his way out of suffering any consequences he cares about. Bullshit has always worked for the Cheeto, so why should he think he needs to do anything more than bullshit now?

    The question is whether or not the GOP’s numerical control of Congress is enough to let the Cheeto (continue to) slide away from any consequences. Which is not completely a foregone conclusion; quite apart from the occasional indications that some GOP politicians may actually not be fully on board with the Cheeto’s grab-it-all-own-it-all-drain-it-all agenda, it’s far from clear how many GOP Congresscritters are going to retain their positions after their next election.

  4. komarov says

    Cubist, I figure said wealth and privilege manifest in many forms, including someone smart enough to get him to do this. Maybe a lawyer, some other hanger-on or a family member with a litle more foresight.

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