Petition to Impeach Donald J. Trump
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February 22, 2017
Representative Kurt Schrader
Representative Maxine Waters
Representative John Lewis
Representative Nancy Pelosi
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Esteemed Representatives:
We, the undersigned citizens of the United States, respectfully request your representation in the U.S. House of Representatives through Memorial via the attached Petition to Impeach Donald J. Trump. Jefferson's Manual, section LIII, 603, states “impeachment may be set in motion by charges preferred by a memorial.”
This Petition to Impeach Donald J. Trump is submitted for review by the House Judiciary Committee (for precedent, see Hinds Sec. 2364, 2491, 2494), and calls for the immediate impeachment of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.
For further precedent, we also refer to the Petition of Luke Edward Lawless, dated March 30, 1826, regarding the Impeachment of Federal Judge James H. Peck, which was successfully initiated by a citizen and accepted by the House as valid.
Following are House rules allowing for submission of our Petition and Memorial.
- Petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to the House may be presented by the Speaker as well as by a Member (IV, 3312).
- Petitions from the country at large are presented by the Speaker in the manner prescribed by the rule (III, 2030; IV, 3318; VII, 1025).
- A Member may present a petition from the people of a State other than his own (IV, 3315, 3316).
Thank you in advance for your assistance with initiating this procedure for each of us individually, and the country at large.
We the People of the United States
PETITION TO IMPEACH DONALD J. TRUMP
TO THE HONORABLE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES:
This Petition is submitted by Rachel Wolf, a natural-born citizen of the United States and resident of the State of Oregon, along with the undersigned on behalf of themselves and the country at large, to respectfully showeth that Jefferson’s Manual section LIII, Rule §603 states an impeachment can be set in motion via charges preferred by a Memorial.
Rule §819 specifies that "Petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to the House may be presented by the Speaker as well as by a Member. Petitions from the country at large are presented by the Speaker in the manner prescribed by the rule. A Member may present a petition from the people of another State."
Therefore, the undersigned request that this Petition be presented to the House as a Memorial from each of them as individual citizens, as well as from “the country at large.”
Rule §173 Section 4 states that a president shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." A generally accepted interpretation of "high Crimes" includes any serious abuse of power, both legal and illegal activities. It can include misconduct, violations of oath of office, serious incompetence, and anything that undermines the confidence of the public or damages the integrity of the office.
In Federalist No. 65, Alexander Hamilton defined impeachable offenses as “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”
PRIORITY OF PETITION
Rule §604 states that a petition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order under the rules governing the order of business.
Rule §341 states that "common fame is a good ground for the House to proceed by inquiry, and even to accusation."
Rule §605 states that the House must investigate the impeachment charges, even those "made my memorial" (as herein), or "appearing through common fame."
Rule §606 says impeachment charges may be based on claims "appearing through common fame."
Mr. Trump's impeachable offenses and actions are well-known to the public both nationally and internationally, making this a matter of “common fame.” The views in this Petition reflect the view of the common people by an overwhelming majority. As such, the House must appeal to the authority of public opinion.
CONTEXT AND PRECEDENTS
Hinds Precedent 2364: The impeachment and trial of James H. Peck, United States Judge for the district of Missouri was set in motion in 1826, by a Memorial with the Petition of a regular citizen, Luke Edward Lawless.
Per CRS 7-5700, “Impeachment and Removal” by Jared P. Cole and Todd Garvey, Congressional Research Service, October 29, 2015:
Congress has identified three general types of conduct that constitute grounds for impeachment, although these categories should not be understood as exhaustive: (1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.
In the past, both houses of Congress gave “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” a broad reading, “finding that impeachable offenses need not be limited to criminal conduct.” [Impeachment of Walter L. Nixon, Jr., H.Rept. 101-36 at 5 (1989)]
Impeachable offenses are “constitutional wrongs that subvert the structure of government, or undermine the integrity of office and even the Constitution itself.”
“Other high crimes and misdemeanors” are not limited to indictable offenses, but apply to “serious violations of the public trust.” Congressional materials indicate that “Misdemeanor ... does not mean a minor criminal offense as the term is generally employed in the criminal law,” but refers instead to the behavior of public officials. “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are thus best characterized as “misconduct that damages the state and the operations of government institutions.”
The purposes underlying the impeachment process also indicate that non-criminal activity may constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment. The purpose of impeachment is not to inflict personal punishment for criminal activity. In fact, the Constitution explicitly makes clear that impeached individuals are not immunized from criminal liability once they are impeached for particular activity. Instead, impeachment is a “remedial” tool; it serves to effectively “maintain constitutional government” by removing individuals unfit for office. Grounds for impeachment include abuse of the particular powers of government office or a violation of the “public trust”—conduct that is unlikely to be barred via statute.
The House has impeached several individuals for abusing or exceeding the powers of their office. In 1868, the House impeached President Johnson on allegations he violated the Tenure of Office Act, which restricted the power of the President to remove members of the Cabinet without Senate approval. Considering the statute unconstitutional, President Johnson removed Secretary Stanton and was impeached shortly thereafter on nine articles. Two more articles were brought the next day, alleging he made “harangues” criticizing Congress and questioning its legislative authority that brought the presidency “into contempt, ridicule, and disgrace.”
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended articles of impeachment against President Nixon on the theory that he abused the powers of his office. First, the articles alleged the President, “using the powers of his high office,” attempted to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate Hotel break-in, conceal and protect the perpetrators, and conceal the existence of other illegal activity. Second, that he used the power of the Presidency to violate citizens’ constitutional rights, “impair” lawful investigations, and “contravene” laws applicable to executive branch agencies. Third, that he refused to cooperate with congressional subpoenas.
One of the articles of impeachment recommended by the House Judiciary Committee against President Clinton also alleged abuse of power, although the House rejected this. That article alleged the President refused to comply with certain congressional requests for information and provided false and misleading information in response to others. The committee report argued that such conduct “showed contempt for the legislative branch and impeded Congress’s exercise of its Constitutional responsibility” of impeachment.
Several individuals have been impeached for behavior incompatible with the nature of the office they hold. For example, Judge Harry Claiborne was impeached for providing false information on federal income tax forms, an offense for which he had previously been convicted for in a criminal case.
Some individuals have been impeached for official conduct for an improper purpose. The first type of behavior involves vindictive use of the office. For example, in 1826, Judge Peck was impeached for charging a lawyer with contempt, imprisoning him, and ordering his disbarment for criticizing one of the judge’s decisions. The second type involves misuse of the office for personal gain. Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached in 1876 for allegedly receiving payments in return for appointing an individual to maintain a trading post in Indian Territory.
In 2010, the House and Senate impeached G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., Judge of the United States District for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Among his crimes were a “corrupt financial relationship” and the fact that he engaged in a “corrupt scheme” with attorneys. It was decided that “his conduct deprived the parties and the public of the right to the honest services of his office.”
Donald Trump’s crimes are certainly more far-reaching and heinous than those of Judge Porteous. Therefore, if the Judge’s actions rose to the level of impeachable offenses, even moreso must Donald Trump be impeached immediately.
It is now coming to light that Mr. Trump has a corrupt financial relationship with Russia and he engaged in a corrupt scheme to get elected. General Flynn’s recent admission and resignation are just the tip of the iceberg. The American people are confident that Mr. Trump knowingly and actively colluded with Vladimir Putin and Russia, and continues to do so even now.
With Judge Porteous, “by virtue of this corrupt relationship and his conduct as a Federal judge,” he “brought his court into scandal and disrepute, prejudiced public respect for, and confidence in, the Federal judiciary, and demonstrated that he is unfit for the office of Federal judge.”
The same and more can be said of Donald Trump. Even before taking office, he brought scandal and disrepute to the White House. He has prejudiced public respect for, and confidence in, our democracy and the presidency, and demonstrated he is unfit for the office of President.
Make no mistake, Mr. Trump holds no mandate. The majority of our nation believes he is temperamentally and psychologically unfit to be president. Of 231 million total eligible voters, less than 63 million voted for Mr. Trump, and many already express regrets. A mere 27% of the nation voted for Mr. Trump, which means that 73% do not support him and wish to see him impeached. That is a resounding majority calling for impeachment, and it is incumbent upon our esteemed representatives in the House and Senate to heed the wishes of the majority of our nation’s citizens.
In Article II of Judge Porteous’s impeachment, it was decided that he “engaged in a longstanding pattern of corrupt conduct that demonstrates his unfitness to serve as a United States District Court Judge.” That conduct included soliciting and accepting numerous things of value for his personal use and benefit, while at the same time taking official actions that benefitted his friends. The Judge “engaged in conduct so utterly lacking in honesty and integrity that he is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, is unfit to hold the office of Federal judge, and should be removed from office.”
Again, this parallels Mr. Trump who has engaged in conduct utterly lacking in honesty and integrity for the last 40 years. He has been sued numerous times, including for racial discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, and alleged rape, along with endless unpaid bills. He has filed bankruptcy many times to avoid paying his debts. Currently, there are vendors he has not paid for their work on the D.C. Hotel, and he is being sued.
Mr. Trump’s history of illegal behavior is lengthy. His fraudulent Trump University is one of many scams. His ties to organized crime and Russia are well-documented. His “Make America Great Again” slogan is ironic given the fact that he manufactures all of his products, including those bearing that slogan, in China and Mexico.
Mr. Trump’s so-called Foundation is currently under investigation for fraud. He has evaded paying taxes for decades by playing a “shell game” with hundreds of LLCs, so that the IRS has never been able to untangle his web of deceit.
With only one month in office, Mr. Trump has committed serious abuses of power, misconduct, violations of oath of office, all causing serious injury to our society. Without question, he has undermined the confidence of the public and caused damage to the integrity of the office. The level of corruption and abuse by Mr. Trump is astounding and unconscionable. If Congress allows this to continue, no checks and balances will be left to protect our crumbling democracy.
In light of the foregoing, we assert that Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, has engaged in the following impeachable offenses:
ABUSES OF POWER AND MISCONDUCT
1. Mr. Trump has abused the power of the “Executive Order” as a way to bypass Congress, override and/or ignore existing laws, and create laws by his own hand, most of which have been unconstitutional. His executive orders do not merely reflect an abuse of power, but also violate the oath he took to uphold and defend the Constitution. Violating an oath is perjury, and perjury is grounds for impeachment.
2. Mr. Trump has failed to properly divest himself of his numerous business conflicts of interest. He has not formed a proper “blind trust,” and his sons continue to grow his businesses, even flying to various countries to develop properties while protected by taxpayer-funded Secret Service. This is a clear abuse of power.
3. Mr. Trump benefits financially from rent paid by The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (controlled by the Chinese state), a tenant in Trump Tower. This is a direct violation of the Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution (“Emoluments Clause”).
4. Mr. Trump has failed to divest himself of the D.C. Hotel and has been in violation of the lease since taking office. This violates the Emoluments Clause, among other things, and is grounds for impeachment.
5. Mr. Trump benefits financially from The Kuwait National Day celebration, thrown by the Kuwaiti embassy, held at his hotel. It is yet another violation of the Emoluments Clause.
6. Mr. Trump manipulated the stock market by tweeting threats to Boeing and Lockheed.
7. Mr. Trump promoted his daughter’s business with tweets and attacked Nordstrom. His “counselor,” Kellyanne Conway, did the same thing the next day, a direct violation of Federal law. As an attorney, she knew that her actions were both illegal and unethical. Mr. Trump should have fired Ms. Conway, but instead praised her. This is a flagrant abuse of power and proof that he condones unethical behavior.
8. Mr. Trump gave White Supremacist Steve Bannon a position in the NSC, despite this being a conflict of interest. In addition, Mr. Bannon has no experience.
9. Mr. Trump was just granted a trademark in China, although it directly contradicts China’s own laws. This benefit violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause.
10. Mr. Trump gave a job in the Executive Office to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, which is a direct violation of Federal law. This is an abuse of power.
11. Mr. Trump appointed Rep. Tom Price to his cabinet. Mr. Price is guilty of insider trading while holding a position as an elected official in the House of Representatives. Mr. Price admitted to trading on certain medical stocks that benefited him financially, and then introduced bills to the House that directly benefited those companies and himself. This constitutes bribery, high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Mr. Price should be removed from the House, not promoted. Mr. Trump’s appointment of Mr. Price is an abuse of power.
12. Mr. Trump has failed to divest himself of his business entanglements, and continues to profit at the expense of the American taxpayers. We are funding protection for him and his family at multiple residences. We are funding Secret Service for his adult sons going to various countries cutting deals to grow the Trump business. This is an abuse of power.
13. Mr. Trump has taken a golf vacation every weekend since taking office, costing taxpayers over $10M in just one month. He allows citizens to have access to him if they pay the price of membership at Mar-A-Lago. This is an abuse of power.
14. Mr. Trump held a 2020 Campaign Rally last weekend, on taxpayers’ money.
VIOLATIONS OF OATH OF OFFICE
1. Mr. Trump swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. His Muslim “ban” was brazenly unconstitutional and, therefore, a violation of his oath. As such, he committed perjury, and perjury is grounds for impeachment.
2. Mr. Trump has attacked and silenced the Media in tweets. Members of his staff (Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer), have done the same publicly. This violates the First Amendment, yet another Constitutional violation and grounds for impeachment.
3. Mr. Trump has given the green light to the North Dakota Pipeline because he and his rich friends will benefit from it financially. At the same time, he has stood by silently as the constitutional rights of Native Americans are being violated. This blatant disregard for basic human rights is contrary to the oath he took, ergo grounds for impeachment.
4. Mr. Trump is dismantling the National Endowment for the Arts, taking over our National Parks, depriving Americans, Veterans, and seniors of healthcare, Medicare, and Medicaid, all in the name of cutting costs. Yet, sustaining all of those things costs less combined than how much we are spending per year on Mr. Trump’s multiple residences and vacations. It is clear Mr. Trump’s priority is to enrich himself at the expense of the American people. This violates his oath of office.
1. Mr. Trump is an embarrassment to our country on a global basis. He has insulted and alienated Australia, Canada, China, Sweden, and many other allies.
2. Mr. Trump refuses to attend intelligence briefings and, when he does, he tweets about personal things like his daughter’s business or attacks the Media.
3. Mr. Trump uses an unsecure cell phone, private email server, and carried on a conversation about national security in full view and earshot of civilians at Mar-A-Lago. This is reckless, an abuse of power, misconduct, and incompetence, all high Crimes and misdemeanors and immediate grounds for impeachment.
4. Mr. Trump has committed many acts that undermined the confidence of the American people and damaged the integrity of the office. America is not a reality television show. Our president cannot be allowed to desecrate our nation’s reputation any longer.
5. Mr. Trump is turning America into a Kakistocracy, i.e. a government run by the least qualified and most unprincipled citizens. His abuse of Executive Orders and appointments of inexperienced billionaires to every cabinet position has eroded the trust of the American people.
6. Mr. Trump has referred to Democrats as the enemy. Now he has labelled the Media as the “enemy of the American people.” He has insulted Senator Warren repeatedly with the racist label of “Pocahontas.” He mocked a disabled reporter, incited violence at his rallies, insulted Rep. John Lewis and Senator Schumer in tweets, insulted Senator McCain by saying that real heroes don’t get captured, and the list goes on. His behavior is embarrassing and shameful.
Mr. Trump’s conduct is entirely unbecoming of the office of the President. His speeches are incoherent rants demonstrating how little he knows or understands about the job. To say he is seriously incompetent is an understatement.
Mr. Trump’s nature to hold onto personal grudges is not the mark of a great leader. He has spent the last three months obsessing over his popular vote loss. This bothers him so much that he manufactured stories about millions of undocumented people allegedly voting for Secretary Clinton. He makes wild, unsubstantiated claims by the hour. He raged about people registered to vote in more than one state, but was silent when it came to light that people in his family and his administration are registered in more than one state.
Mr. Trump’s propensity for lying goes beyond the pale. His labeling of news as “fake” when it does not praise him is petty. He has spent the last month obsessing over the size of his inaugural crowd. He uses every press conference or conversation with a world leader to harp on that point. This is not the behavior of a mentally stable person.
Mr. Trump’s behavior is chaotic and reckless. His malignant narcissism and fascist dictator tendencies are on full display 24/7. He lacks critical thinking skills; his judgment is flawed.
Mr. Trump’s refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin is troublesome. There is no doubt in any sane and reasonable person’s mind that he was installed by Vladimir Putin.
In conclusion, having thus submitted this Petition to your honorable body, it appears from those facts stated above, the following charges to be true:
A. That Donald J. Trump has, in his capacity as President of the United States, been guilty of usurping a power which the laws of the land did not give him; and
B. That Donald J. Trump has exercised his power, usurped or legitimate, to the detriment of every citizen of the United States; and
C. That Donald J. Trump has demonstrated extreme incompetence to the extent that he is unfit to hold the office of President.
Wherefore, and inasmuch as said Donald J. Trump has violated the most sacred and undoubted rights of the inhabitants of these United States, these Petitioners pray that the conduct and proceedings in this behalf, of said Donald J. Trump, may be inquired into by your honorable body, and such decision made therein to impeach, to appoint managers to conduct the impeachment trial in the Senate, and to inform the Senate of these facts by resolution (Manual Sec. 607; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 9) for trial and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.
These Petitioners dutifully await your action on their behalf, and on behalf of every citizen of these United States of America.
Rachel Wolf and We the People
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