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>> Are you investigating President Trump?>> If a probe into Russian meddling and a legal battle with the porn star weren't enough. A federal judge on Wednesday, for the first time, allowed a lawsuit to go ahead against President Trump. Alleging that foreign payments made to his business empire may be illegal.
Reuters correspondent, Julia Hart explains.>> The judge's ruling today allows a case to proceed challenging President Donald Trump's continued ownership of his businesses, such as the Trump International Hotel here in Washington, DC. It argues that by continuing to profit from this business and others in the Trump organization, he's violating constitutional clauses that prohibit the President from receiving gifts from foreign governments or US states.
This is the first time that a case has made it this far. The judge's ruling says that the attorneys general of Maryland and DC have legal standing to bring this case because citizens in those areas, in DC and in Maryland are losing out on their own hospitality businesses because Trump's hotel represents such a powerful competitor.
>> Wednesday's preliminary ruling marks a setback for the Trump administration which has tried to stamp out claims that Trump is violating the constitution's emoluments clauses designed to prevent corruption and foreign influence. And Reuters legal correspondent, Andrew Chung says, the decision could lead to even more headaches for the White House.
>> What it could mean is that if the case eventually reaches the discovery phase, it could allow for Donald Trump to have to release his tax returns which is something that he has thus far refused to do.>> The judge did narrow the claims to include only those involving the Trump International Hotel in Washington and not Trump's businesses outside of the US capitol, like the President's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, or other Trump properties.
A US judge in Manhattan in December, threw out a similar lawsuit against Trump, brought by a different group of plaintiffs.