Quigley Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Violation of Constitution’s Anti-Corruption Claus

Jun 20, 2017

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) joined nearly 200 Members of Congress in filing a federal lawsuit against President Trump for violating one of the Constitution’s critical anti-corruption provisions: the Foreign Emoluments Clause. The emoluments clause prohibits the President from accepting foreign payments without seeking and receiving Congressional authorization.

“U.S. elected officials must always be expected—and entrusted—to put the good of the American people before their own financial gain,” said Rep. Quigley. “Our constituents have the right and responsibility to hold their government accountable, which includes guaranteeing that foreign governments’ corrupting influence is not the guiding force behind key policy decisions. President Trump has robust financial interests abroad, and his willingness to accept foreign payments without seeking and receiving Congressional authorization is a bold violation of critical anti-corruption provisions. I will continue to work with my colleagues to defend our democracy at every turn and make sure that those in the highest office in the land adhere to the Constitution.”

As co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, Rep. Quigley is working to strengthen government openness and accountability, which includes exposing possible conflicts of interests. In March, he introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, a bill that requires the publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business, including various Trump Organization properties frequented by the president. Last month, he questioned the Acting Administrator for the General Services Administration (GSA) about the Trump International Hotel lease and possible conflicts of interest.

From the beginning of his Administration, President Trump’s embrace of Russia, pandering to Saudi Arabia, and sudden weakness before China have raised urgent questions about his financial conflicts of interest. Since the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week, public reporting has revealed that President Trump has received additional foreign benefits–including new trademarks in China–and is brokering business deals in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf while regional tensions escalate.

The Emoluments Clause provides that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”