Trump International Hotel in Washington. Special interests are holding meetings at properties owned by President Donald Trump, putting money in his pockets as they seek to influence his administration. An Associated Press analysis of the interest groups that visited Trump properties in the first year of his presidency found several instances that at least created the appearance of “pay for play.” (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

A Maryland federal judge will hear arguments in a case accusing President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign and state governments.

Monday’s arguments before U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte will delve into the substance of the “emoluments clause” and what it means. The clause bans accepting benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

The plaintiffs, Maryland and the District of Columbia, have argued that Trump is capitalizing on the presidency and causing harm to businesses trying to compete with his Washington, D.C., hotel.

Justice Department lawyers have argued that such business activity, including hotel room stays, isn’t an emolument.

A private lawyer for Trump has argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the president cannot be sued.

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