Democracy 21 sent a letter today to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that urged Schneiderman to conduct an investigation and “to take whatever steps maybe necessary to prevent The Trump Organization and related Trump businesses from serving as a vehicle, or conduit, for foreign governments to provide payments or other financial benefits that benefit President Trump in violation of the Emoluments Clause.”

The letter to Schneiderman forwarded a copy of a letter to Preet Bharara, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which Democracy 21, CREW and the Campaign Legal Center sent on March 8.

The letter from reform groups to Mr. Bharara set forth facts on the public record that present a powerful case that the Trump Organization has received payments or other financial benefits from foreign governments that benefit President Trump and that do not comply with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Today’s letter took note of the fact that Mr. Bharara was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 11, 2017.

The letter to Schneiderman said:

The Trump Organization and related business entities reside in New York. As such, they fall under your jurisdiction to enforce the laws of New York State.

If, as we believe the public record establishes, The Trump Organization and related business entities are serving to pass on payments and benefits from foreign governments to President Trump that violate the Constitution, then The Trump Organizations and related Trump business enterprises are conducting unlawful business operations in the state of New York.

These activities are no different than a bank engaging in illegal practices in New York in which illegal funds are passed through the bank to third party recipients.

The letter concluded:

You are known for your willingness to follow the facts wherever they may lead. We urge you to take this approach in conducting the investigation we are requesting.

We call on you as New York Attorney General to expeditiously pursue an investigation of The Trump Organization and related Trump business entities and to take whatever steps are necessary to stop these entities from receiving and passing on to President Trump emoluments provided by foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution.


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