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Trump lawyers seek to pause evidence collection in foreign gifts lawsuit

CNN logo CNN 12/15/2018 By Katelyn Polantz and Ellie Kaufman, CNN
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: A view outside Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. one day before the inaguration of Donald Trump January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come to the National Mall to witness Trump being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage) © Noam Galai/WireImage WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: A view outside Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. one day before the inaguration of Donald Trump January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come to the National Mall to witness Trump being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

President Donald Trump's personal lawyers are trying to pause evidence collection in a fight over the constitutionality of the revenue of his Washington hotel, according to a new request to a federal court to stay the case.

Previously, the DC and Maryland lawsuit alleging the President had received illegal gifts through the Trump International Hotel was moving to its discovery phase, with the state attorneys general sending out several subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization. A federal judge had allowed the lawsuit against Trump's businesses to move forward from the states, though the judge had not ruled on whether to dismiss a lawsuit against the President personally.

Now the Justice Department is also appealing that judge's ruling to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, giving Trump's personal legal team a foothold to ask for a pause in the case.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh had some harsh words for the President's lawyers' move Friday.

"I think they may have violated Lewis Carroll's copyright on 'Alice in Wonderland,' " he said.

He added that the President's lawyers are arguing that the "President's immune from the requirements of the emoluments clause" of the Constitution, an argument he called "absurd."

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to Frosh issuing a statement.

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