November 22, 2019
On behalf of Common Cause’s 1.2 million supporters, we call for the House of Representatives to impeach and the Senate to convict and remove from office President Donald J. Trump because no American, and especially not the President, is above the law. The President and his Administration’s abuse of power, subversion of the rule of law, solicitation of a bribe, campaign finance violations, and obstruction of justice by ignoring subpoenas, undermining congressional investigations, threatening witnesses, and refusing document requests leave Congress no choice but to impeach and convict him.
In the 243 years since our country’s founding, Congress has impeached two sitting presidents, with neither president being convicted by the Senate and removed from office. Impeachment is not a measure that Common Cause takes lightly, and we reached this decision after much deliberation; in our nearly 50 years, this is the first time we have called for the impeachment of a president. We strongly feel that the current president’s actions have reached a tipping point that must be addressed with the most significant tools that the Constitution prescribes.
The depositions and public hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee revealed a common theme: that President Trump demanded a bribe from Ukraine’s government (dirt on his 2020 election rival Joe Biden) in exchange for Trump performing an official government act (releasing nearly $400 million of military aid). It also appears Trump obstructed justice by intimidating witnesses and interfering in Congress’ Ukraine investigation. But the Ukraine scandal is just the latest in a long list of constitutional desecrations. The Mueller report revealed substantial new evidence that Trump’s campaign team actively encouraged, aided, and abetted this Russian interference in the 2016 election to help Trump get elected. The Mueller report also suggests that President Trump has obstructed justice, perhaps in as many as ten instances, in order to prevent Special Counsel Mueller and the American people from learning the full extent of the Trump campaign’s involvement in Russia’s 2016 campaign interference.
As Congress has conducted investigations into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s involvement, as well as Trump’s obstruction of justice and other potential malfeasance (e.g., violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, tax fraud, and ethics violations), the Trump Administration has engaged in unprecedented stonewalling. Common Cause believes it is well past time to hold President Trump accountable for his behavior and push Congress to do its constitutional duty to protect our country from the president’s abuses of power, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations and his failure to ensure faithful execution of our laws—actions that constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.
To this end, Common Cause, on behalf of our 1.2 million members, calls for the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump and for the Senate to remove him from office by convicting him.
The first four Articles of Impeachment recommended by Common Cause in the enclosed report relate to President Trump’s withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid in order to pressure the government of Ukraine to launch an unwarranted investigation into one of Trump’s 2020 election rivals, and former Vice President, Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The impeachable offenses tied to these acts consist of, abuse of power, the solicitation of a bribe, campaign finance violations, and ultimately obstruction of justice in the President’s efforts to thwart the House Impeachment Inquiry of the Ukraine matter.
Additional recommended Articles of Impeachment include abuse of power and obstruction of justice related to the Russia investigation, and abuse of power for failure to adequately safeguard U.S. elections from foreign interference. Articles of Impeachment are also recommended for campaign finance violations related to “hush money” payments, and violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
The second section of this report summarizes the Senate impeachment trial process, including the constitutional provisions, related Senate rules, past precedents and standards of proof for impeachment trials. It goes on to outline the requirements and expectations for a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.
Please let me know if you have any questions about our enclosed report or would like to discuss how we arrived at this conclusion.
Karen Hobert Flynn