While the country watched as President Trump took the oath of office and protests filled the streets, a campaign to build support for his impeachment went live on the internet.
The groups are basing their case on Trump maintaining ownership of his luxury hotel and golf course business while in office.
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. It will undermine faith in basic institutions. If nothing else, it’s important for Americans to trust that the president is doing what he thinks is the right thing … not that it would help jump-start a stalled casino project in another country.”
While Trump announced earlier this month that he would donate all “profits” from foreign business clients to the U.S. Treasury, neither Trump nor representatives of the Trump organization have provided any details on the arrangements.
Information such as how such payments would be tracked, collected and disbursed are what liberal activists are concerned about.
The American Civil Liberties Union are planning to submit lawsuits against the President as they say he will be in violation of the Constitution on day one.
Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, said, “We think that President Trump will be in violation of the Constitution and federal statutes on day one, and we plan a vigorous offense to ensure the worst of the constitutional violations do not occur.”
“We may have a new president, but we have the same old system of checks and balances,” he added.
The groups cited examples such as “rent paid by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for its space in Trump Tower and potential ongoing spending by foreign diplomats at the Trump International Hotel in Washington and other Trump properties,” as reported by MSN.
The groups claim these examples violate the foreign emoluments clause.
While many believe that getting a majority of the GOP-controlled House members to vote to launch an investigation of President Trump is highly unlikely, Fein said he is confident that lawmakers will eventually support the effort.
“I think that at a certain point, the combination of new revelations coming out and, importantly, calls and pressure from constituents in their own districts will be a deciding factor,” he said. ”And at some point, they will decide it is in their own interests to support this.”
The online petition states:
We are calling upon Congress to pass a resolution calling for the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States.
As of January 20, 2017, President Trump’s refusal to divest from his business interests has placed him in direct violation of the United States Constitution.
The nation is now witnessing a massive corruption of the presidency, far worse than Watergate. Indeed, Nixon White House Counsel John Dean told reporters: “I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.” Given the opportunity of ten full weeks between the election and the inauguration to divest his business interests, Mr. Trump chose instead to announce, just nine days before inauguration, a wholly inadequate plan to step away from operations, but not ownership or income streams, of the Trump Organization. Instead, he has chosen to profit from the presidency at public expense, in violation of the United States Constitution. The violations, the corruption, and the threat to our republic are here now.
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