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The Latest: White House says suit against Trump ‘politics’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit brought by Maryland and DC attorneys general against Trump (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

The White House says a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia is driven by partisan politics and the president hasn’t violated the Constitution.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says it’s “not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations” in the lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump. He says the Trump administration will continue to move to dismiss the lawsuit in the normal course of business.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed the lawsuit. They say that Trump’s leases, properties and other business “entanglements” around the globe have led to a conflict of interest under the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Spicer says the president’s interests “do not violate the emoluments clause” and he pointed to the fact that both AGs are Democrats.

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1:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee says a lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia “is absurd.”

Lindsay Jancek said Monday that Trump has been committed to “complete transparency and compliance with the law.” She says the lawsuit represents “the kind of partisan grandstanding voters across the country have come to despise.”

Jancek also says the American people elected Trump president, and that it’s time Democrats “end their efforts to delegitimize his presidency.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed the lawsuit Monday. It alleges Trump is violating the Constitution by taking payments from foreign governments while president.

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1:10 p.m.

A statement by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia says the lawsuit they’ve filed in federal court against President Donald Trump over his business dealings seeks an injunction to stop what they allege are the president’s “constitutional violations.”

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the suit at a news conference in Washington. They said the suit involves so-called emolument clauses of the Constitution — little-known anti-corruption provisions meant to shield the president from outside influence.

Frosh says “elected leaders must serve the people, and not their personal financial interests.” He adds the two officials are seeking to serve as a “check and balance” against the president.”

At their news conference, the two Democrats said their effort is non-partisan and that other attorneys general, including Republicans, were welcome to join their effort.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. The president called an earlier, similar lawsuit about the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution an issue “without merit, totally without merit.”

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12:30 p.m.

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia have announced they’ve filed suit against President Donald Trump, alleging he violated the Constitution by retaining ties to a sprawling global business empire.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh made the announcement at a jointly held news conference in Washington, confirming the suit has been filed in federal court in Maryland. Frosh and Racine cited Trump’s leases, properties and other business “entanglements” around the world as the reason for the suit, saying those posed a conflict of interest under a clause of the Constitution.

“The president’s conflicts of interest threaten our democracy,” Frosh told journalists. “We cannot treat the president’s ongoing violations of the Constitution and his disregard of the rights of the American people as the new acceptable status quo.”

Racine says the president has spoken about drawing a line between the presidency and his many businesses and properties but that he “has walked his promise back.”

“We have a duty to enforce the law and that’s why we are taking action today,” Racine added.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. The president called an earlier, similar lawsuit about the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution an issue “without merit, totally without merit.”

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9 a.m.

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to sue President Donald Trump.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh plan to announce what they call a “major lawsuit” Monday against the president. A statement released to the press Monday says they’ll announce the suit at a news conference in Washington.

According to The Washington Post , the suit alleges that Trump violated constitutional anti-corruption clauses by taking payments from foreign governments while in office. The Post says the lawsuit centers on Trump retaining ownership of his company when he became president.

Trump said he was shifting assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.

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