NEW YORK — The New York attorney general’s office on Monday accused President Donald Trump of violating a constitutional provision that bars presidents from using the power of the presidency to circumvent congressional oversight.
Lawyers for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been leading a nationwide probe into Trump’s financial dealings, filed a motion to unseal Trump’s tax returns to try to force him to turn over documents that would answer questions about his business dealings, according to a copy of the filing obtained by Buzzfeed.
Schneiderman said in a statement that Trump may have violated the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits a president from accepting gifts from foreign governments.
Schumer said Trump has said he did not know about the Emols’ payments, but that his lawyers will seek more information from Trump.
The Emolument Clause is a provision of the Constitution that says the president may not accept a gift from foreign officials or foreign governments for any purpose.
Schnecker said in the filing that Trump should turn over his tax returns, but his office is seeking to keep them sealed.
“The president’s financial transactions with foreign governments have been scrutinized extensively and the Emolinements Clause protects the president’s constitutional rights,” Schneiderman said.
“This matter should be dismissed and no further action taken.
This is why we filed this motion today.”
Schneier’s office released the motion on Monday.
The Associated Press first reported the move.
Schuster said in March that the Emoliments Clause could also be used to justify the Trump administration’s refusal to release a copy the President’s taxes to the Senate, citing the President not wanting to appear to use his office to circumvent oversight.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and has defended his use of the emoluments clause as an important tool for the executive branch to avoid conflicts of interest.