PETITION TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT REQUESTING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP BE CENSURED
The undersigned, exercising their inalienable right, deriving from the Magna Carta and enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” do hereby request of each member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives that the Senate and House, separately or jointly, adopt a resolution censuring President Donald J. Trump for the misconduct described below.
The undersigned have concluded, after due deliberation, that President Donald J. Trump, from the day he took office on January 20, 2017 as the forty-fifth President, to the present, has betrayed his obligations to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” and to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" by engaging in the following unlawful conduct, and conduct that contravenes, betrays, disparages and denigrates the values enshrined in the Constitution, and demeans the office of President. Far from embracing our constitutional rights and obligations, President Trump has demonstrated that he lacks allegiance to, respect for, or even knowledge of, those rights and obligations.
1. President Trump acted improperly by
(i) firing Director James Comey of the FBI for refusing to terminate the FBI’s investigation into charges that the Russian Government had sought to influence the outcome of the November 2016 presidential election, and then offering contradictory explanations of the reasons for that firing, one or more of which explanations must have been false.
(ii) interfering in the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, who had been National Security Advisor until his recent firing by the President, by asking FBI Director Comey to terminate that investigation.
(iii) disclosing highly classified intelligence information to Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergei. Kislyak, in a private meeting in the Oval Office on May 10, 2017.
(iv) abusing the powers of his office and the integrity and independence of the Justice Department by admonishing Attorney General Sessions for having recused himself from involvement in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
2. President Trump has disgraced his office by repeatedly making false statements publicly in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 which provides, in relevant part, that "...whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully...makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation...shall be fined,...imprisoned not more than 5 years...or both.
(i) President Trump asserted on March 4, 2017 that his predecessor, then President Barack Obama, had tapped his phone at Trump Tower in New York City. Neither President Trump nor anyone else has offered any evidence to support this claim, which must, therefore, be concluded to have been false.
3. President Trump has ownership, leasehold, licensing or other interests in numerous hotels in Washington, D.C., elsewhere in the United States and abroad in which individuals holding office in foreign governments have stayed and/or enjoyed meals and entertainment, and has thereby violated Article 1, Section 10 (the “Emoluments Clause”) of the United States Constitution. Further, President Trump continues to hold and benefit from his many assets, both foreign and domestic, receiving profits and benefits, such as trademarks, from foreign powers, which constitute wrongfully received emoluments. By engaging in those violations, President Trump has also violated his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
4. President Trump has disparaged, demeaned and ridiculed women, including statements referring to the lack of intelligence and the physical appearance of a television commentator. Such conduct betrays our Nation’s values and undermines the hard-fought equality of women in our Nation.
5. By announcing on May 31, 2017 that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords signed by 195 nations, President Trump has acted recklessly, without justification and contrary to the wishes of the great majority of the American people, and has thereby jeopardized the residents of our country and their descendants.
6. President Trump has refused, and made clear that he will continue to refuse, to disclose his previously filed or future federal income tax returns in violation of a long-standing tradition of disclosure honored by former Presidents. That refusal has deprived and will deprive Congress and the American people of information necessary to determine
(i) whether, and if so, the extent to which, President Trump violated the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution;
(ii) the President’s past, continuing and future relations with foreign individuals and entities; and
(iii) the personal impact on President Trump of any proposed amendments to the Internal Revenue Code.
7. From the moment of his inaugural address to date, President Trump has publicly and repeatedly disparaged and defamed his predecessor as President, members of Congress, the Judiciary, Government officials, political opponents, members of the press, and other individuals in a crude, and insulting manner. In addition, he has called into question the legitimacy of the other equal branches of our government, so as to undermine seriously these institutions in the eyes of our people and the world. Thus he has made us fear that our nation is headed in the direction of becoming an authoritarian dictatorship.
8. In June, 2016, Donald Trump’s agents, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, willfully, knowingly, and improperly, sought to obtain from Russian government sources, damaging information regarding Hillary Clinton for the purpose of aiding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. On July 13, 2017 President Trump defended the foregoing improper actions.
9. Encouraging law enforcement officers to physically abuse arrested suspects in violation of existing police rules and regulations and the Due Process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; and reversing the Obama administration's policies seeking, through litigation, to curtail certain police department misconduct such as the excessive use of force, as in the case of the Chicago Police Department.
10. Imposing an immigration ban based upon religious discrimination in violation of the First Amendment's protections of freedom of religion.
11. Imposing a ban upon transgender people from serving in the military in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
12. Encouraging violence and showing disdain for core American values by stating that Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis, and their racist allied protesters in Charlottesville included "very nice people."
13. Exhibiting disdain for the Constitution and the judicial process by pardoning former Phoenix Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who had been held in contempt of court by a federal judge for acting in "flagrant disregard" of the court's order directing that Arpaio's department cease engaging in racial profiling.
14. Callously and cruelly withdrawing the protections of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Executive Order from approximately 800,000 "Dreamers," thereby subjecting them to family and job disruption and possible deportation.
15. Recklessly and crudely urging the owners of National Football League franchises to discharge players for exercising their constitutional, statutory, and contractual rights to engage in silent non-violent protests against discrimination prior to games;
16. Threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea and annihilate its entire population, thereby suggesting genocide in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law;
17. Attacking Carmen Yulin Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, for her pleas for additional federal assistance in response to its humanitarian crisis created by Hurricane Maria, threatening to withdraw federal assistance to Puerto Rico, and suggesting that Puerto Rico’s residents were not doing enough to help themselves;
18. Ending Federal Affordable Care Act subsidies amounting to about $7 billion in fiscal year 2017, and $10 billion in 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office, so as to deprive low income citizens of health insurance.
19. Seeking to interfere with due process of law, as stated by Senator Bob Corker, by “pressuring...the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against [President Trump’s] political adversaries, and calling for punishment of alleged criminals before trials take place,” which in Senator Corker’s view “are totally inappropriate.”
20. Publishing inflammatory videos prepared and distributed by an ultra-right wing British group, Britain First, on November 21, 2017, which alleged to show Muslims committing acts of violence, of which Senator Lindsey Graham (R. S.C.), said constituted “legitimizing religious bigotry,” and British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned for promoting racism and bigotry;
21. Tweeting an attack upon the integrity of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as being in “tatters,” on December 2, 2017, and lamenting that: “General [Michael] Flynn [Trump’s former National Security Advisor], lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed . . .,” after Flynn pled guilty in federal court to the felony of making “materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations . . .” to the FBI concerning discussions he had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, which impeded then pending FBI investigations;
22. Endorsing and campaigning for a candidate for the United States Senate from Alabama, Roy Moore, who has praised the slavery era, proposed banning Muslims from Congress, was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal court orders, and who has been credibly accused by several Alabama women of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers and when he was in his thirties;
23. Withdrawing some two million acres of land from two national monuments in Utah, Grande Staircase – Escalante and Bears Ears, both of which have magnificent landscapes and priceless Native American artifacts, and have been protected from mining and development. Such withdrawal already has become the subject of lawsuits brought by environmentalists and Native American groups, seeking to declare President Trump’s actions illegal;
24. Issuing an anti-Native American racist slur against Senator Elizabeth Warren, at a White House ceremony honoring Navajo code talkers on November 27, 2017, which was deeply offensive to Senator Warren and Native American communities.
25. Declaring in a sexist manner that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had come to his business office “begging” for political contributions and that she “would do anything for them.”
26. Selecting multiple unfit and dangerous federal judicial nominees for lifetime appointments, including Brett Talley who has never tried a case in court and received an unqualified ranking by the non-partisan American Bar Association and Jeff Mateer who has previously described transgender youth as part of "Satan's plan”.
27. After having acknowledged in November, 2017, that as President he was “not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department,” in connection with its investigations, he told the New York Times on December 28, 2017, that “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”
28. Telling the press on December 15, 2017, that “I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens,” which may be construed as a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1512 (b), which declares: “Whoever...corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to-influence..or prevent the testimony of any person, in an official proceeding...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” Thus, Trump may have been signaling to Flynn that how, and whether, he testified before a grand jury or otherwise in the current Mueller investigation would influence Trump regarding pardoning Flynn.
29. Threatening North Korea by “tweeting” that he had “a Nuclear Button” that is “ much bigger and more powerful” than North Korea’s “and [his] Button works!”
30. Demanding that an author and publisher cease publishing a book critical of him, and demanding a retraction and apology from them, thereby seeking to impose a prior restraint upon them, and “chilling” them in their exercise of their First Amendment rights.
31. Publicly insulted 25-year California Senator Diane Feinstein in a tweet on January 10, 2018, by calling her “sneaky” and declaring that she had made public the Glenn Simpson Congressional hearing transcript “in an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, [which] is a disgrace,” and suggested that Senator Feinstein had done so because she faced a “tough Primary;”
32. Declared on January 10, 2018, that our libel laws are a “sham” and a “disgrace” and that he would take a “strong look” at changing them, when in fact the laws he referred to are subject to the First Amendment to the Constitution as well as well-settled Supreme Court doctrines and decisions such as New York Times v. Sullivan, which declare that with regard to proving a defamation case brought by a public figure, the publisher must have published the statement with malice, consisting of knowledge of the falsity of the statement or proceeding in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity thereof;
33. Declared in the crudest and most racist possible terms at a meeting on January 11, 2017, with members of Congress discussing immigration legislation, that Haiti and certain African countries were undesirable sources of immigrants and that he preferred immigrants to the United States to come from countries such as Norway, which have overwhelmingly white populations;
WHEREFORE, the undersigned respectfully request that President Donald J. Trump be censured for the acts, statements and conduct specified above.