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Campaign seeks to impeach Donald Trump-Local Lawyer


1/27/2017 – Recorder B1

Campaign seeks to impeach Donald Trump

One organization leading the charge was founded by a western Mass. lawyer

By RICHIE DAVIS, Recorder Staff

A non-partisan campaign to impeach President Donald Trump has local ties.

The Impeach Donald Trump Now campaign, coordinated by Free Speech For People and RootsAction. org, was launched on Inauguration Day to call for a congressional investigation into Trump’s alleged violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause and Domestic Emoluments Clause, as well as the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012.

“Given President Donald Trump’s refusal to divest fully from his business interests, he is now in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution,” said Amherst lawyer John Bonifaz, cofounder and president of Free Speech For People.

Bonifaz, whose family lives in Conway, added, “In the face of this new and unprecedented level of corruption by the president, we must rise to address this extraordinary moment in our history. The president must be held accountable for these impeachable offenses and we, as a people, must confront this new corruption threat to our Constitution and our democracy.”

Campaign organizers say that Trump’s personal and business holdings in the United States and abroad present unprecedented conflicts of interest.

The Trump Organization has licensing deals with two Trump Towers in Istanbul, and has received up to $10 million from developers since 2014. In a radio interview with Stephen K. Bannon, who has since been designated his chief White House strategist, Trump admitted, “I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” according to a New York Times article from November.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause says, “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under (the United States), shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

The purpose of this provision is to prevent foreign influence or corruption.

“Democracy means that no one is above the law,” said Norman Solomon, co-Founder and coordinator of “And the United States Constitution is ‘the supreme law of the land.’ We now face the choice of whether to allow the new president to violate the Constitution. Democracy is at stake.”

Ron Fein, legal director of Free