Now playing
02:41
CNN analyst explains Emoluments Clause to Trump
US President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine shot administered in the US during an event commemorating the milestone in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Saul Loeb/AFP/etty Images
US President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine shot administered in the US during an event commemorating the milestone in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:28
Axelrod explains the message Biden is sending with strike
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate Chamber for the fifth day of former President Donald Trump
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate Chamber for the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. House impeachment managers asked the senate Saturday for the ability to question witnesses as part of the trial. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:07
McConnell says he'd support Trump as GOP nominee
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM        (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Slim/Getty Images
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
US carries out airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
PHOTO: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
Now playing
01:57
Senate parliamentarian rules against minimum wage increase in relief bill
Now playing
03:56
Marjorie Taylor Greene's challenger explains decision to run
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:44
Acting US Capitol Police chief explains 'operational challenges' from January 6 riot
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN
PHOTO: CNN
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN's Alisyn Camerota.
Now playing
07:17
Lawmaker reacts to Rep. Taylor Greene's tweet on her transgender daughter
Connolly
PHOTO: CNN
Connolly
Now playing
03:51
'I will not be lectured' on bipartisanship: Lawmaker fires back at Jim Jordan
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the South Lawn of the White House after announcing and initial deal with China in Washington, DC, prior to departing to Lake Charles, Louisiana to hold a campaign rally on October 11, 2019.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the South Lawn of the White House after announcing and initial deal with China in Washington, DC, prior to departing to Lake Charles, Louisiana to hold a campaign rally on October 11, 2019.
Now playing
02:28
Romney says he's 'pretty sure' Trump will win 2024 nomination if he runs
Now playing
02:04
Senate moderates create obstacle for Biden's nominee
This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.  The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world
PHOTO: Staff/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:30
Pentagon report gives insight on White supremacists in active military
Now playing
03:57
GOP senator continues to push riot conspiracy theory
Now playing
02:08
Cabinet secretary explains why he took on challenging role
Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM), President Joe Biden
PHOTO: Leigh Vogel/Pool/Getty Images
Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM), President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource, at the U.S. Capitol on February 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
00:59
'We need to work together': Haaland responds to question on blind loyalty
Now playing
01:35
Laughter follows awkward moment between GOP leaders
(CNN) —  

A three-judge federal appeals court panel appeared skeptical during oral arguments Monday about letting a group of more than 200 congressional Democrats sue President Donald Trump over foreign payments to his businesses.

Judges on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit questioned whether individual members of Congress have the legal right, or standing, to sue the President, regarding the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

“You’re not here representing Congress, so you can’t seek to protect the institutional interests of Congress,” Judge Thomas Griffith told lawyer Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which is representing the group.

Another member of the panel, Judge David Tatel, invoked the Supreme Court’s recent dismissal of a Virginia redistricting case, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that “individual members lack standing to assert the institutional interests of a legislature.”

The suit is being led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, who on Monday was chairing a critical impeachment hearing as the court hearing proceeded.

Trump has broken previous presidential precedent by retaining his interest in his personal business, the Trump Organization, while in office, as well as by refusing to release his tax returns. That has triggered complaints from an array of watchdog and private groups, as well as the congressional Democrats, that Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s ban on emoluments, or payments.

The lawsuit by the members of Congress is one of several challenges to Trump’s financial arrangements. On Friday, Ginsburg put a temporary hold on House subpoenas requesting Trump’s financial documents from two banks.

Monday’s oral arguments came after a lower court allowed the Democratic members’ lawsuit to go forward. The appellate court agreed to step in and hear an early appeal before any subpoenas could go out.

After the appellate court said in June that it would hear the case, a federal judge in a lower court paused congressional Democrats’ subpoenas of Trump Organization financial records, 10 days before the records were due in the lawsuit.

Justice Department lawyers have argued in filings that the lower court was wrong to allow the lawsuit to proceed. In filings, they have said the legislators don’t have standing to sue because such a lawsuit must be brought by the entire Congress, “not an amalgam of individual legislators or even a single chamber of a bicameral body.”

They have also argued that the Constitution’s emoluments clause refers only to “compensation accepted from a foreign government for services rendered” and not a broader interpretation that covers “any profit or gain.”

On Monday, the panel questioned Justice Department attorney Hashim Mooppan about how Congress could respond to emoluments violations. “If you were right about standing, it does raise the question of what is the remedy to violations of the emoluments clause?” Griffith asked. “What is Congress to do?”

Mooppan told the panel that Congress needed to pass a new law if it wanted to stop Trump from accepting foreign payments to his businesses.

Following the hearing, Blumenthal said that if the court continues to let the president accept payments and benefits from foreign governments, “the Constitution itself will be dead letter.”

“He’s betraying the Constitution. The courts have to stop it. And we are doing our job by coming here,” Blumenthal told reporters.

CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Cat Gloria contributed to this report.