The lawsuit alleges that President Trump is in violation of the Constitution and is focusing on payments made by government entities to Trump owned properties. Justice Department lawyers are arguing that payments like the ones in question do not violate the emoluments clause.
The attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia planned to file subpoenas Tuesday seeking records from the Trump Organization and a dozen other entities linked to President Trump as part of a lawsuit accusing him of profiting from his presidency in violation of the Constitution.
The subpoenas were expected one day after U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte approved a brisk schedule for discovery in the case alleging that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel amounts to gifts to the president in violation of the emoluments clause. The Article I clause, also known as the Title of Nobility Clause, prohibits federal officeholders from receiving "any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State" without the consent of Congress.
Fox News has obtained a list of subpoena targets, which include the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel. The other Trump entities targeted include those related to the D.C. hotel and its management. The attorneys general also plan to subpoena 18 entities that compete with the Trump Hotel in an apparent effort to determine how their business has been affected since Trump's election and inauguration.
The subpoenas focus on answering three questions: which foreign or domestic governments are paying the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where that money is going and how Trump's hotel is affecting the hospitality industry in the District of Columbia and Maryland.