Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Chief Deputy Whip, joined nearly 200 Representatives and Senators as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump concerning his apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause. After the lawsuit was filed, Rep. Schakowsky released the following statement:
“Is President Trump working in the best interest of the American people? Or is he using the office of the President to further his business interests and curry favor with foreign contacts? Those questions have enormous consequences for the American people, and I’m determined to get answers. Our lawsuit stipulates that President Trump has violated the Constitution by receiving large gifts and business advantages from foreign governments without getting approval from Congress. Even more troubling, we cite several high-profile instances that indicate President Trump may be ‘returning the favor’ to these foreign governments with huge Presidential decisions. They scratch his back, he scratches theirs.
“The prospect of an American president being bought off with gifts from foreign governments is a concept so deeply troubling and dangerous that our founding fathers wrote the Emoluments Clause into our Constitution to ensure it never happened. Our lawsuit demands President Trump – like every president before him – follows the Constitution. Of course, he could also follow precedent by releasing his tax returns – but maybe there’s an emolument or two in there he doesn’t want us to see.”