In 2014, Donald Trump tweeted this regarding former President Obama:
Are you allowed to impeach a president for gross incompetence?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2014
Those words appear to be coming back to haunt Trump. Formal steps are being taken to impeach Donald Trump, the person who once pushed so hard for former President Obama to be impeached for, well, everything. The Washington Post, Teen Vogue and Time Magazine have all reported that Free Speech for People and RootsAction have taken the preliminary steps to move toward Trump’s impeachment. According to The Post:
‘The organizers are hinging their case on Trump’s insistence on maintaining ownership of his luxury hotel and golf course business while in office. Ethics experts have warned that his financial holdings could potentially lead to constitutional violations and undermine public faith in his decision-making.’
Aware that critics will argue that the groups aren’t giving Trump a fair chance, they’re holding true to their belief that early intervention is key. They’re not backing down. Ron Fein, Legal Director at Free Speech for People, said:
‘If we were to wait for all the ill effects that could come from this, too much damage to our democracy would occur.’
The ACLU has also taken unprecedented steps to hold Trump accountable, and is also prepared to litigate.
Organizers of impeachment efforts are confident that Trump’s most impeachable offense will likely be from his foreign business dealings. The Post notes:
‘Trump will immediately be in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits a president from accepting a gift or benefit from a foreign leader or government.’
Ron Fein came with concrete examples of Trump’s alleged violations. He provided the The Post examples of Trump’s possible illegal actions:
- Rent paid by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for its space in Trump Tower in New York
- Potential ongoing spending by foreign diplomats at the Trump International Hotel in Washington and other Trump properties
- Royalties collected by the Trump organization from the president’s business partner in the Philippines, who was recently named a special envoy to the United States
Free Speech for People and RootsAction are sailing in uncharted waters. The foreign emoluments clause has never been taken to court. Having done his research on possible applicable legal precedent, Fein also noted:
‘Former Virginia governor Edmund Jennings Randolph, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later the first U.S. attorney general, argued during Virginia’s debate over ratifying the constitution that a president who was found to have taken a foreign emolument “may be impeached.”’
Fein is confident that getting the House Judiciary Committee to introduce the resolution needed to investigate whether or not there are grounds to impeach Trump, won’t be a problem.
However, the challenge could be getting a House full of Republicans who once criticized, but now seem to be assimilating to Trump’s beliefs and Cabinet picks, to support his impeachment. That’s where any citizen who believes that Trump’s hate-fueled campaign and insistence on assembling a staff of culturally insensitive, divisive, and otherwise unethical people, comes in.
There is no such thing as nitpicking where dismantling the Trump administration is concerned. The “see something, say something” rule completely applies. Where matters of Trump’s lack of ethics, diplomacy and regard for the American people are concerned, the people must speak up.
Information on the impeachment process can be found in this YouTube video:
Featured Image via Getty/Spencer Platt.