New York attorney general hires top corruption watchdog to challenge Trump
The New York attorney general has hired a top public-corruption prosecutor to focus on President Donald Trump.
Attorney General Eric Scheiderman, a Democrat, tapped prosecutor Howard Master to serve as senior enforcement counsel and work on cases involving Trump and his administration, as well as other high-level public corruption cases, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Master previously served under former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired last week after refusing the president’s order to resign along with 46 others appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Scheiderman sued Trump in 2013 for fraud related to his Trump University real estate courses, which the president agreed to settle for $25 million shortly after his election.
He has also challenged the Trump administration over immigration, climate change and other legal issues.
Scheiderman’s office is expected to explore whether it has legal standing to challenge Trump on the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits federal office holders from accepting payments from foreign governments.
A government watchdog group led by a team of constitutional scholars and ethics experts sued Trump in January, arguing the president had violated the Constitution by owning hotels and other businesses that accept payment from foreign governments.
Trump has called the lawsuit “totally without merit,” and his attorneys have argued that those those payments do not violate the Constitution.