Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe Calls for an Impeachment Investigation of President Trump

LEADING CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR JOINS THE LEGAL ADVISORY BOARD OF NATIONAL IMPEACHMENT CAMPAIGN

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, one of the nation’s most prominent constitutional scholars, has joined the Legal Advisory Board of the Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump Now, a growing national movement for an impeachment investigation of President Trump. The campaign, launched on Inauguration Day and led by two public interest organizations – Free Speech For People and RootsAction.org, is calling on Congress to start this investigation based on the President’s direct and ongoing violations of the two anti-corruption provisions of the US Constitution and based on the President’s apparent interference with a criminal investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.

“It is now up to Congress to save the Constitution by initiating impeachment proceedings,” says Professor Tribe.  “Trump can’t say ‘You’re fired’ to the House of Representatives.”

Nearly one million Americans from across the country have already joined the campaign at www.impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org. In addition, nine communities, including Los Angeles, California, have passed resolutions calling for this impeachment investigation, and many other communities are expected to vote on such resolutions in the coming weeks.

Other members of the campaign’s Legal Advisory Board include: Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig; former Montana Supreme Court Justice James Nelson; University of Tulsa Law Professor Tamara Piety; former Temple University Law Professor David Post; George Washington University Law Professor Catherine Ross; Cornell University Law Professor Steven Shiffrin; and Vermont Law Professor James Gustave Speth. The biographies of the Legal Advisory Board Members can be found here: https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org/who-we-are-2/.

Impeach Donald Trump Now, a non-partisan campaign led by Free Speech For People and RootsAction.org, is pressing for an impeachment investigation of President Trump, based on his direct and ongoing violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause and Domestic Emoluments Clause, as well as based on the President’s apparent interference with a criminal investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey. To join our campaign, read our proposed Impeachment Resolution, or to learn more, 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 defunding endless wars.


New grounds for a congressional impeachment resolution, based on Trump’s interference with a criminal investigation

In response to the President’s apparent interference with a criminal investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017, the Impeach Donald Trump Now Campaign is now including additional grounds in its call for impeachment. Specifically, Congress’s impeachment investigation should include (in addition to the President’s violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses) whether the President has — in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — prevented, obstructed or impeded the administration of justice.

On the date of his firing, Director Comey was leading one or more investigations that might have incriminated President Trump and/or close associates. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of those criminal investigations, President Trump interfered with them by firing Director Comey. Those investigations might have ultimately led to obstruction of justice charges. Obstruction of justice is undoubtedly an impeachable offense; it was the first article of impeachment against President Nixon , and in 1998 the House of Representatives approved an article of impeachment against President Clinton for obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice includes, but is not limited to, the following federal criminal offenses:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 1503 – Influencing officer. This statute provides for punishment of up to ten years’ imprisonment for “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any . . . officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, . . . or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.”
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees. This statute provides for punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment for “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress.”

The House of Representatives should immediately open an investigation into whether preparation of articles of impeachment is justified by President Trump’s violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the United States Constitution as well as his interference with a criminal investigation by the firing of Director Comey.


Sunlight Foundation: Trump’s Conflicts of Interest

Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government, has been tracking President Trump’s conflicts of interest—and it turns out there are many.

Here are a few highlights so far:

  • President Trump not only failed to set up a true blind trust for his assets, but in the weeks since Election Day and Inauguration has continued to mix the business interests of the Trump Organization with those of the American people, whom he represents. It’s jumped from dozens to hundreds. (Here’s a fun little spreadsheet tracking those issues)
  • There is no way for a President of United States to recuse himself from making domestic or foreign policy decisions which would have an impact upon his business holdings. If the White House does not take action, the potential for the most corrupt administration in history is clear — and it’s bigger than Watergate.
  • The President of the United States is not above the law, as former White House ethics counsels Norm Eisen and Richard Painter explain the serious conflicts of interest, appearance of conflicts, and Emoluments Clause problems that exist. Watch the video below for a full explanation of Trump’s conflicts of interest.

  • “Trump’s trust is not blind. His brand will conflict with his Presidency. His taxes remain secret, despite decades of precedent. The Trump Presidency will be mired in litigation, doubt, scandal, and crisis.”

To read the full analysis and follow the work of the Sunlight Foundation, click here.


Pelham, MA Becomes Eighth City Calling For Impeachment

On Saturday, May 6, the Pelham Town Meeting voted unanimously to call on Congress to begin Impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump.

With this vote, Pelham becomes the eighth city pass an impeachment resolution. Pelham joins Los Angeles, Richmond, Alameda, and Berkeley, CA; Charlotte, VT; and Cambridge, Leverett, MA.

Pelham resident Roy Regozin was the sponsor of this resolution at the Town Meeting and gave a rousing introduction and explanation for the resolution.

“Let me say a few words about why this Resolution is being presented. The emoluments clauses in the United States Constitution, which are quoted in the first two paragraphs of the Resolution, prohibit conflicts of interest in the conduct of foreign affairs and in the conduct of domestic affairs.

Why? Because anyone having a personal interest in a matter cannot be objective about it. His/her interest will influence his judgment consciously or unconsciously. That is why judges have to recuse themselves from cases in which they have an interest – they cannot be objective.

Every member of Congress took an oath to support the Constitution. President Trump, through his business interests that he has refused to divest, appears to have conflicts of interest prohibited by the Constitution. Yet Congress has done nothing.

The Resolution before you calls upon Congress to conduct an investigation to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach President Trump. Put another way, the Resolution urges Congress to do its job.

This is not mere rhetoric. Our Congressman, Jim McGovern, has said that his Republican colleagues have dismissed, as partisan, his calls for action because he is a Democrat. He needs to be able to show that his constituents are demanding action. That is what the Resolution will do, if it is approved.

I am here along with John Bonifaz, the President and Co-Founder of Free Speech For People, a national non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to renew our democracy and our Constitution for the people. Free Speech For People is co-leading, with RootsAction, the national campaign calling for this impeachment investigation. Seven communities in the nation have already passed this Resolution: Los Angeles, Richmond, Alameda, and Berkeley, CA; Charlotte, VT; and Cambridge and Leverett, MA.

This is our moment in history. Let’s support the Constitution.”


Read the letter submitted by LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to the City Clerk in Support of Our Resolution To Impeach Trump

Today, May 5, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution, calling on Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for violations of the emoluments clause in the Constitution.

City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, of LA’s Third District, introduced the resolution and played a critical role in moving this resolution to a vote. Mr. Blumenfield delivered a thoughtful and detailed argument on the necessity to impeach President Trump for his corruption.

Click here, to read and download the letter submitted by Councilmember Blumenfield before the City Council.

 

 

 

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