Society

Half A Million Sign Petition To Impeach Trump

| by Ray Brown

More than 500,000 people have signed a petition that urges Congress to begin an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

The petition, created by nonprofit groups Free Speech for People and RootsAction, alleges that Trump's worldwide business interests and refusal to divest might violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause and Domestic Emoluments Clause, as well as violations of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act).

The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits a public official from taking payments from foreign governments, which Trump might do when foreign officials stay at one of his hotels, for example.

The Domestic Emoluments Clause applies only to the president, according to The Hill, and states that he "shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation . . . and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them."

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And the STOCK Act prohibits a public official from buying or selling stocks using inside information gained while in office.

"If [Trump] continues to own his businesses and he uses insider information, or information he has as president, then arguably it's a violation of the STOCK Act," said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan advocacy group, reported NPR.

The petition to impeach Trump claims he's in violation of all three of these laws.

Norman Solomon, co-founder and coordinator of RootsAction, said people all over the country are pushing to impeach Trump.

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"A groundswell for impeachment is underway at the grassroots," Solomon said. "In districts around the country, House members will face escalating calls from constituents who believe that the president must not be above the supreme law of the land. This historic movement is just getting started."

In addition to the petition, a lawsuit filed by several constitutional scholars and Supreme Court litigators has been filed against Trump, alleging he is in violation of the Emolument Clause.

"The framers of the Constitution were students of history," said Deepak Gupta, one of the lawyers behind the suit, according to The New York Times. "And they understood that one way a republic could fail is if foreign powers could corrupt our elected leaders."

Sources: RootsAction, The New York Times, The Hill, NPR / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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