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Congress Members Sue Trump Administration for Violation of Foreign Emoluments Clause

June 20, 2017, 2:32 PM HST
* Updated June 20, 2:34 PM
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President Donald Trump’s official portrait from Wikimedia Commons.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i 02), and members of Congress announced today their lawsuit against President Donald Trump to enforce the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The clause forbids government officials, including the president, from accepting payments and gifts from foreign governments.

The lawsuit would give Congress the authority to vote on and approve any foreign emoluments on a case-by-case basis.

“The American people deserve a president who is a servant leader who they can trust to represent the people’s interests, rather than his or her own,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Those who voted for President Trump took him at his word—that having accumulated enough of his own personal wealth, he would be solely focused on serving the American people.

“It is paramount that President Trump divest himself from his properties, especially those abroad, so Americans can trust that this Administration’s foreign policy decisions are not being influenced by the president’s investments,” Rep. Gabbard continued. “We need to be assured, for example, that U.S.-Saudi policy is not being influenced by a Trump resort or other investments in that country; rather, it is crafted to serve the best interests of the American people.

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“If President Trump does the right thing by seeking and receiving appropriate congressional approval, stops accepting financial benefits from foreign government officials and divests himself from his properties, I will withdraw my support from this lawsuit,” Rep. Gabbard said. “The people of this country deserve transparency and confidence that the president is acting on their behalf.”

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