Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) alleged in the lawsuit that by retaining ownership of his business and property empire, Trump is violating a clause in the U.S. constitution that bars U.S. officials from receiving "emoluments" from other governments.
The Trump administration argued in a 70-page legal brief this week that the president is legally allowed to profit off payments from foreign governments, The Washington Post reported. "No president has had the kind of business entanglement with foreign governments like Donald Trump".
"The DOJ further asserted that CREW, as well as other plaintiffs, "lack legal standing to bring the case against Trump", citing that 'Congress, not the court system, should determine whether Trump is in violation" of the clause our forefathers created to protect the country.
The Justice Department is asking a NY judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by the left-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued Trump in late January under the claim that he was already violating that clause of the Constitution.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, event coordinator Jill Phaneuf and hotel and restaurant owner Eric Goode have also joined the suit as plaintiffs.More news: Theresa May confirms she will stay as Britain's prime minister
The lawsuit alleges Trump's unfair advantage as president hurts local businesses competing with his properties. On Friday, it filed a motion to dismiss the case. Critics said the plan failed to address conflicts of interest between Mr Trump's roles as President and as a billionaire businessman.
They also said that CREW doesn't have any legal standing because the issue of an emolument clause violation should be taken up by Congress, not the court system. "And they understood that one way a republic could fail is if foreign powers could corrupt our elected leaders".
The attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland say that they will file a lawsuit on Monday alleging that President Donald Trump has violated his constitutional oath of office, reports say.
In the original complaint, filed on January 23, the first business day after Trump's inauguration, CREW targeted payments from diplomats and foreign government officials to Trump's hotels and golf courses. For example, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is owned by the Chinese government, is a tenant at Trump Tower in NY, and its lease is due to expire during Trump's term, the suit says. "It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office", CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said earlier this year.