Members of a group linked to liberal operative and Hillary Clinton loyalist David Brock are involved in a new lawsuit filed by the Democratic attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland against President Trump over his private businesses.
The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in the U.S District Court in Greenbelt, Md., focuses on the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars foreign governments from paying U.S. officials, the Washington Post reported.
"The lawsuit alleges violations by the President of two distinct yet related provisions of the U.S. Constitution that seek to make certain that he faithfully serves the American people, free from compromising financial entanglements with foreign and domestic governments and officials," the lawsuit states.
Karl Racine, D.C.'s attorney general, said at a press conference early Monday that Trump is "flagrantly violating the Constitution" and that "never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements."
"We know foreign governments are spending [at the Trump International Hotel] to curry favor with the President of the United States," Racine said. "The Saudis are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump hotel."
The lawsuit filed by D.C. and Maryland mimics that of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a liberal legal advocacy group once led by Media Matters for America founder David Brock.
Noah Bookbinder, CREW's executive director, appears on the lawsuit filed by the Democratic attorneys general. Stuart McPhail, CREW's litigation counsel, is also listed on the lawsuit. The attorneys general are hoping the lawsuit will lead to the release of Trump's tax returns.
Earlier this year, David Brock held a conference with more than 100 liberal donors at the posh Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura, Fla., mapping out how Democrats would "kick Donald Trump's ass."
The Washington Free Beacon attended the conference and obtained a copy of a private and confidential Brock memo detailing the liberal operative's plans to attack Trump using CREW, Media Matters, Shareblue, and American Bridge.
The memo spoke of defeating Trump through impeachment, delegitimizing his presidency via legal attacks spearheaded by groups such as CREW, and partnering with Facebook to combat "fake news", among other objectives.
It also hit on how Brock would go after Trump using litigation efforts.
"CREW will relentlessly probe [Trump's] global conflicts of interest and administration ethics problems through aggressive use of research, open records requests, legal action, and [Freedom of Information Act] litigation," the private documents state.
CREW "will bring about legal accountability for executive branch ethical and legal violations through complaints and litigation."
Although Brock officially left CREW in December of last year, the organization appears to be following the plan laid out in that memo.
Brock sought to raise $40 million in 2017 for his organizations and seeks to build a network that rivals that of the conservative Koch brothers.
Bookbinder did not return requests for comment on his involvement in the D.C. and Maryland lawsuit by press time.