Legal experts say Friday's move takes the "emoluments" clause of the Constitution into uncharted legal waters, since it has been interpreted as only applying to presidents in their official capacity.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland, is one of several challenging Trump's ties to his business ventures and his refusal to divest from them. The suits allege that foreign governments' use of Trump's hotels and other properties violates the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bans the president's acceptance of foreign gifts and money without Congress' permission.
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