As soon as Donald Trump was inaugurated as President, an official campaign aimed at impeaching him began, according to The Washington Post.
ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org is now live, and its organizers hope to lay the groundwork for the eventual impeachment of America’s new 45th President.
“If we were wait for all the ill effects that could come from this, too much damage to our democracy would occur,” said Ron Fein, organizer of the new movement and legal director for the liberal advocacy group Free Speech for People. “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.”
The group’s first course of action will be to get a resolution introduced to Congress which will task the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Trump has solid ground for impeachment.
“Getting it introduced is not going to be a problem,” Fein said, claiming that some members of Congress are already warming to this idea.
Fein argues that Trump’s refusal to divest his business interests immediately puts him in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution. He says Trump’s impeachable offenses include collecting rent from the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for residing in space in Trump Tower, as well as money collected from foreign diplomats staying at the Trump International Hotel.
Those who have publicly stated that these conflicts of interest mean that Trump would be in violation of the Constitution as soon as he was sworn in include the outgoing director of the Office of Government Ethics, George W. Bush’s Chief White House Ethics Lawyer, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Trump claims that he will donate any profits from foreign clients to the U.S. treasury, but much like his tax returns, has yet to release any documentation proving these promises.
“I don’t care about my company,” Trump insisted last month. “It doesn’t matter. My kids run it.”
Trump’s children, however, have been active members of the Trump campaign and transition team, stoking fears that Trump will still be very involved in the day to day affairs of his company.
While Congressional Republicans may be loathe to challenge Trump on Day One, Fein says that over time, as the already historically unpopular Trump incites greater frustrations among the electorate, they will likely support his efforts.
“I think that at a certain point,” Fein said. “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.”
Those wishing to coordinate with or keep track of this new movement can click here.
UPDATE: The Other 98% has launched a similar petition, titled Impeach Trump, which can be viewed here.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW