Statement on Threats of Violence Against Members of Congress for Exercising Constitutional Authority of Impeachment

The U.S. Constitution provides that “[t]he President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Framers of the Constitution entrusted this grave responsibility to Congress, to be used sparingly and only when necessary to protect the republic.

Recently, a longtime confidante and sometime campaign advisor to the President, Roger Stone, told TMZ on video that any Member of Congress who chooses to exercise their constitutional authority risks assassination. According to Stone: “Try to impeach him, just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country, and insurrection, like you’ve never seen. . . . This is not 1974, the people will not stand for impeachment. A politician who votes for it [impeachment] would be endangering their own life.” (Stone claimed that he was “not advocating violence,” but “predicting it.”)

We unequivocally condemn these threats of violence. The Constitution entrusts the question of impeachment to Congress, and no one should threaten Members of Congress, or anyone else, with assassinations, insurrection, or any other form of violence for peacefully and lawfully advocating for (or against) use of the grave power that the Founders granted to Congress.

It is never acceptable to threaten violence against Members of Congress for exercising constitutional authority, or members of the public for advocating that Members of Congress exercise that authority. And in this fragile time—just two months after a politically motivated gunman shot four people, including a Member of Congress, and not even two weeks since heavily armed Nazis, neo-Confederates, and white supremacists terrorized the streets of an American city, resulting in the death of a peaceful counter-protester and two law enforcement officers—a threat of violence cannot be hidden beneath the veneer of “predicting” rather than “advocating” assassinations and insurrection.

We call upon the President to unequivocally and unconditionally denounce all threats of violence against Congress or members of the public for exercising their constitutional rights.

Ron Fein, Legal Director
John Bonifaz, President
Ben Clements, Board Chair
Free Speech For People

 Kathleen Clark
Professor of Law
Washington University in St. Louis

Justice Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffly
Former Associate Justice
Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Noreen Farrell
Executive Director
Equal Rights Advocates

Kate Kendell
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Kim Kruckel
Executive Director
Child Care Law Center

Nancy Leong
Associate Professor
University of Denver
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

James Nelson
Retired Justice
Montana Supreme Court
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Dixon Osburn 
Executive Director
Center for Justice and Accountability

Eva Paterson
President
Equal Justice Society
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Tamara R. Piety
Professor of Law
University of Tulsa College of Law
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Catherine J. Ross
Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law
George Washington University Law School
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Steven Shiffrin
Professor of Law
Cornell University Law School
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

James Gustave Speth
Former Dean
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Jennifer Taub
Professor
Vermont Law School
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Zephyr Teachout
Associate Professor of Law
Fordham University
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

Laurence H. Tribe
Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law
Harvard Law School
Legal Advisory Board, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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