WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2019) – Along with President Trump’s many other impeachable offenses—including, most recently, illegally soliciting the government of Ukraine to assist his own re-election campaign—a coalition of national advocacy groups has released a new report outlining the argument for President Trump’s impeachment on the basis of his racist abuses of power. Authored by Free Speech For People’s Legal Director, constitutional lawyer Ron Fein, and issued by Free Speech For People, By The People, CREDO Action, and the Equal Justice Society, the report shows a pattern of the president’s racist rhetoric and policy actions, and sets forth, for the first time, a constitutional framework for determining when racist presidential action and rhetoric crosses the line into “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement yesterday that the US House of Representatives will conduct a formal impeachment inquiry, the 24-page report provides an in-depth analysis of several of the constitutional grounds for impeachment of the president based on his racist conduct. By the standards set forth in the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the president is obligated to guarantee “equal protection of the laws,” and to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The report argues Trump has defied this constitutional responsibility and violated his oath of office, and explains why Congress should include racist abuse of office as part of the impeachment case, alongside other impeachable offenses.
As Ron Fein writes: “Putting this entire pattern [of policy actions] together, Congress is entitled to conclude that President Trump has repeatedly adopted, directed, or implemented federal government actions based on motives of discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin, with only the thinnest of pretexts.”
“Trump has exploited his public office to incite racist violence, promote white nationalism, and abuse his power to endanger the lives of millions of Americans. If we don’t impeach him now, this will become the new normal. Impeachment is our tool to stop what we cannot tolerate and the first step to building a country that works for all of us,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Executive Director of By the People
“This report shows a clear pattern of Donald Trump’s racist policies and impeachable offenses aimed at terrorizing communities of color and immigrant families,” said CREDO Action campaign manager Thaís Marques. “Speaker Pelosi may finally have come around on impeachment, but her words will be meaningless if the House does not act swiftly to vote articles of impeachment out of committee by November 1 and impeachment does not get a floor vote by November 15. Trump must be held accountable for all his abuses of power.”
Some of the actions cited in the report include: an immigration ban targeting people of Islamic faith; the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of Latinx immigrants on the U.S./Mexico border, including child separation; misusing the military by deploying it to the border after inventing a supposed national security threat of a “migrant caravan” that disappeared after the 2018 election; and promising to use the pardon power to protect federal officials carrying out his illegal border policies.
Free Speech For People has emerged over the past ten years as a recognized leader in the movement to challenge big money in politics and reclaim democracy from the domination of large corporate interests. Following the 2016 election, it launched a nationwide campaign to confront the unparalleled corruption of the Trump presidency and to hold those at the highest levels of government accountable to the law.
Read the full report here.
Read the executive summary here.