Advocates Launch Campaign On Inauguration Day To Impeach President Donald Trump

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Impeach Donald Trump Now, a non-partisan campaign led by Free Speech For People and RootsAction.org, launched on Inauguration Day with a petition calling on the U.S. Congress to initiate an impeachment investigation into President Trump.

The petition cites violations of the U.S. Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause and Domestic Emoluments Clause, as well as violations of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act).

"Democracy means that no one is above the law. And the United States Constitution is 'the supreme law of the land.' We now face the choice of whether to allow the new president to violate the Constitution," said Norman Solomon, Co-Founder and Coordinator of RootsAction.org, "Democracy is at stake," said Solomon.

"Given President Donald Trump's refusal to divest fully from his business interests, he is now in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution," said John Bonifaz, Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People.

"In the face of this new and unprecedented level of corruption by the President, we must rise to address this extraordinary moment in our history.  The President must be held accountable for these impeachable offenses and we, as a people, must confront this new corruption threat to our Constitution and our democracy," said Bonifaz

President Trump's personal and business holdings in the United States and abroad present unprecedented conflicts of interest. Indeed, President Trump has admitted he has conflicts of interest in some cases. For example, the Trump Organization has licensing deals with two Trump Towers in Istanbul, and has received up to $10 million from developers since 2014. President Trump admitted recently that "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul."

Crucially, some of these business arrangements violate the U.S. Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides: "[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State." The purpose of this provision is to prevent foreign influence or corruption. "Emoluments" from foreign governments include "any conferral of a benefit or advantage, whether through money, objects, titles, offices, or economically valuable waivers or relaxations of otherwise applicable requirements," even including "ordinary, fair market value transactions that result in any economic profit or benefit to the federal officeholder."

"The President was warned that he had to make a choice between continuing to own his conflict-ridden businesses, many of which receive money from foreign governments, or serving as President of the United States," said Ron Fein, Legal Director of Free Speech For People.

"He was warned that if he did not divest his businesses, he would be violating the Constitution from the moment he took the oath of office. He had over seventy days to choose, and he chose to violate the Constitution. Public service is a public trust, and he's abusing that trust to line his own pockets," said Fein.

There is sufficient basis to investigate other potentially impeachable violations as well. First, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) is one of the few federal ethics statutes that specifically includes the President. Among other provisions, it prohibits the President from (1) using nonpublic information for private profit, and from (2) intentionally influencing an employment decision or practice of a private entity solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.

Second, the Constitution's Domestic Emoluments Clause provides: "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them." This provision, which is not waivable by Congress, protects against Congress itself, or any state, making, withholding, or threatening to withhold additional compensation beyond his fixed federal salary. For example, since 1980, Mr. Trump and his business have "reaped at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York."

"A serious impeachment effort in Congress, especially a successful one, would very likely move the United States from the most to the least corrupt president in many years," said David Swanson, Campaign Coordinator for RootsAction.org. "Presidents serving in the wake of a Trump impeachment will be on notice that they are not above the law. That's a change that's badly needed, and the highest law in the land has a built-in mechanism to make it happen, if Congress can find the nerve to impeach," said David.

For more information visit: www.ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Free Speech For People is a national non-partisan non-profit organization founded on the day of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. that works to renew our democracy and our Constitution for the people, not big money and corporate interests.

RootsAction.org is an online initiative dedicated to galvanizing Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection -- and de-funding endless wars.

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