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Trump defends foreign income: Obama sold books to universities overseas

Trump defends foreign income: Obama sold books to universities overseas

The Justice Department asked a court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a watch dog group alleging that President Trump is in violation of the Constitution's Emolument clause.

"Were plaintiffs" interpretation correct, presidents from the very beginning of the Republic, including George Washington, would have received prohibited "emoluments, '" the United States government filing said.

The DOJ argued in a Friday filing that the constitutional provision, known as the emoluments clause, doesn't apply to fair-market transactions, like hotel bills or office rent. Furthermore, the Justice Department claims, the proposed injunction would violate the separation of powers, since dealing with the suit would impede the president's ability to perform his duties, and such an impairment can not be forced upon one branch of the government by another.

The plaintiffs claim the Emoluments clause bars Trump from accepting anything of value from a foreign government. "The American people need answers, they expect answers".

The administration's argument is a response to the lawsuit filed in January in the Southern District of NY by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

CREW had initially argued that its own group was harmed by the president's actions because his conduct required the organization to divert resources from other issues. "We heartily disagree and look forward to our day in court". In order words, Trump's pledge to donate his company's profits from its dealings with foreign governments will not be adhered to by the Trump Organization in any realistically thorough way, and the Justice Department is now arguing that the president shouldn't have even had to worry about that, anyway.

Trump announced shortly before taking office that he would retain ownership of his company but leave it in control of his adult sons, Eric and Don Jr.

The emoluments clause has been a subject of contention since before Trump took office, due in part to his labyrinthine business empire that watchdogs and critics said would entangle Trump in a web of conflicts of interest as president.

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. His "business interests are creating countless conflicts of interest, as well as unprecedented influence by foreign governments", leading to "numerous" violations of the Constitution, according to the CREW complaint.

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, together with his family (from left, Eric Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump) after cutting the ribbon for the grand opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., October 26, 2016. A group representing hospitality businesses in NY and Washington D.C. later joined the lawsuit, which also seeks to obtain Trump's financial records, including his long-awaited tax returns.

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