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FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2017, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A watchdog group is suing Trump over money he will make from foreign business


The Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW)  plans to sue President Trump on Monday, arguing that he is violating the Constitution by letting his family-owned businesses accept payments from foreign governments.

CREW claims Trump is violating the "emoluments clause," which forbids payments from foreign governments, USA Today reports.

It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office. He did not.
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of CREW

In a press conference earlier this month, Trump detailed his plan for his businesses. He did not divest himself from his global business empire, but gave management control to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric. He will remain the majority owner. 

The lawsuit is expected to arrive at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

The details

Eric Trump called the lawsuit "harassment for political gain" in a New York Times interview. Trump's lawyers have argued the emoluments clause does not apply to fair-market payments like hotel bills. Additionally, the Trump Organization said it will donate any profits that come from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury.

But CREW and other opponents fear that letting foreign governments do business with Trump will lead to political leverage and conflicts of interest. 

President Donald Trump pumps his fist after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Allegations of conflicts of interest tied to Trump's global business empire have dogged him since the start of his campaign. However, despite widespread pressure to do so, he has not released his tax returns, which may offer some insight

While Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump have promised to relinquish control of their businesses, there's no evidence they've actually done so, ProPublica reports. 

As of Friday, Trump has not sent the necessary paperwork to Florida, Delaware and New York needed to separate himself from his businesses. 

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