The frightening lessons being quickly learned during the first 10 days of Trump’s presidency continue unabated. There are numerous voices calling for his impeachment and online petitions are growing every day. However, hating his policies is not enough to get Trump removed from office he must be in violation of the Constitution of the United States.The fact of the matter is Trump may have violated the Constitution as soon as he took the oath of office and has continued with his most recent executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S. These violations may include violation of the Emoluments Clause and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
The Emoluments Clause states in part: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, 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.”
Trump’s business deals stretch globally and include China, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other nations. Even though he has stated that his adult children will operate his businesses, but even now companies and foreign dignitaries have made reservations at properties controlled by the Trump organization, some say to gain favor with the administration.
Trump may also be in violation of the Establishment Clause by his recent statements during a media interview over what is being called a Muslim ban on immigration. The Supreme Court in the case of Larson v. Valente (1981) that the clearest command of the establishment clause is that one religion cannot be preferred over another. In his recent immigration order, Trump put a 90-day travel ban on refugees and citizens from, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Although the executive order does not blatantly bar Muslims, it can easily be seen that the order is targeting this group of refugees. But the order does give exemptions to “refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” This was a way to give priority to Christian refugees, which would be a violation of the Establishment Clause and is unconstitutional. During an interview on Sunday with Christian Broadcast Network host David Brody asked Trump “As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?”
Trump responded: “Yes.”
Brody then asked again, “You do?” To which Trump stated, “They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”
Clearly, Trump designed the immigration order with Muslims in mind, which was confirmed by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani who told FOX News that he spoke with Trump as the order was being written up to give him advice on the wording.
There is a growing concern among many members of Congress that their worst dreams about Donald Trump are coming true. Congressman Hank Johnson, D-Ga., stated on the show of syndicated radio host Rashad Richey that “we are witnessing the meltdown of the office of the POTUS and his team.” Rep. Johnson further described Trump’s behavior as “wanton and reckless” and said, “It’s scary he has the nuclear codes.”
When Richey asked the congressman what would be the tipping point for him to call for an impeachment Johnson responded that it would take three things:
-If it appears and is proven that Trump and his family are in violation of the Emolument Clause.
-If an investigation underway reveals his campaign team were “in cahoots” with the Russians and shared sensitive or improper information.
-If the people that control the House and Senate can’t control the backlash of the people and are moved to start impeachment proceedings.
“It may come to a point where Trump feels it’s too hot for him and things are messing with his money [and] then he has to resign. I don’t think it’s too early to think about these scenarios because they are coming and they are coming fast,” Johnson said.