New Petition Seeks Congressional Censure of President Trump
A Petition for Redress of Grievances under the First Amendment to the Constitution has been posted on change.org seeking congressional censure of President Trump.
The Petition asks both the Senate and the House of Representatives to censure President Trump, and sets forth a description of misconduct and misdeeds that have occurred since Trump’s inauguration, including:
- Firing FBI Director James Comey for his refusal to terminate the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election and his investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn;
- Disclosing classified information to Russian representatives in the Oval Office on May 10, 2017;
- Disgracing the Office of President by repeatedly and knowingly making false statements to the press and public;
- Wrongfully admonishing Attorney General Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian election interference investigation;
- Continuing to receive profits and Emoluments from foreign governments in violation of Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution;
- Ridiculing women on the basis of their looks and insinuating that they lack intelligence;
- Withdrawing from the Paris climate accords;
- Refusing to release his income tax returns;
- Defending the improper effort by his son, son-in-law and Campaign Chairman to obtain damaging information from Russian sources about Hillary Clinton.
The petitioners plan to collect signatories to their Petition in the coming weeks and present them to every member of Congress for appropriate action. The Petitioners believe that while many of their grounds for censure may support President Trump's Impeachment, at a minimum they warrant his immediate censure by both Houses of Congress.
In the past, censure of Presidents and members of Congress has been sought and imposed on at least 40 occasions. For example, in 1834, President Andrew Jackson was censured by the Senate for refusal to turn over documents. And in 1954, the Senate censured Senator Joseph McCarthy for, among other things, bringing the Senate into "dishonor and disrepute." More recently, in 2010, Congressman Charles Rangel was censured by the House for financial irregularities.
A signatory to the Petition, Richard Painter, a life-long Republican, who is professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota, and was Chief White House ethics lawyer for President George Bush between 2005 and 2007, said of the Petition:
"The Constitution of the United States protects every citizen's right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. And Congress has the right to censure its own members as well as presidents. The behavior of President Trump in his first six months in office, as specified in our Petition, clearly warrants his immediate censure by Congress. I urge our fellow citizens to join us in our effort, and I implore every member of Congress to exercise his or her authority to censure President Trump for his gross misconduct in office as specified in our Petition."