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Nearly 200 congressional Democrats announce lawsuit against Trump over foreign payments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers have joined together to bring a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging he breached a clause of the Constitution that forbids foreign payments and gifts.

The congressional lawsuit alleges that Trump through his business interests has been in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits government officials from accepting foreign gifts or payments without consent from Congress, since he took office in January.

The 196 members of Congress who have thus far joined the complaint -- 30 from the Senate and 166 members of the House of Representatives -- say in the suit that they sought to "obtain relief from the president's continuing violation of the foreign emoluments clause," which they said was created, in part, to prevent foreign influence. A copy of the suit was published Tuesday night by the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington, D.C., legal organization that is filing on behalf of the congressional plaintiffs.

The suit is set to be filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

"Through this measure, the nation's founders invested members of Congress with an important role in preventing the corruption and foreign influence that the founders sought to avoid," the suit reads, referring to the emoluments clause. "President Donald J. Trump has a financial interest in vast business holdings around the world that engage in dealings with foreign governments and receive benefits from those governments."

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