Two plaintiffs on Monday joined a federal lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump is in breach of the Constitution by continuing to host foreign governments at his resorts while in the Oval Office, according to the Washington Post.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an association of restaurants and restaurant workers, and Jill Phaneuf, a contractor who books events for two Washington D.C. hotels, are joining the suit first filed in January by the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
“The Administration’s conflicts of interest are glaring and dangerous,” ROC said in a Tuesday press release. “As a hotel and restaurant owner, the President puts restaurateurs and restaurant workers nationwide at a grave disadvantage, pushing foreign dignitaries to patronize his establishments rather than go to others.”
The original suit alleged that Trump was profiting unconstitutionally from his presidency. CREW maintained that it was a violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal office holders from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments, for the President to maintain ownership of the Trump Organization while in office.
The addition of the new plaintiffs is an effort to address questions about whether the watchdog group could prove it was directly affected by Trump’s business arrangement, thus giving it standing to sue.