Justice lawyers try to halt Trump financial records release

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to let them file a legal appeal that could, for now, keep President Donald Trump’s critics from gaining access to financial records related to his Washington hotel.

The case accuses the president of violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bans federal officials from accepting benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

The Justice Department filed a motion Friday asking Maryland-based U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte to put a hold on legal discovery while he contemplates allowing the higher appellate court to review the case.

The plaintiffs, Maryland and the District of Columbia, have said they plan to move forward quickly with discovery, seeking information and financial records such as the president’s income tax returns.

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