- John Bonifazconstitutional attorney and co-founder of Free Speech for People.
In November, a half-dozen Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice and other offenses. This comes as a petition for impeachment launched in October by Democratic donor Tom Steyer now has more than 3 million supporters. At least 17 communities around the country are now on record calling for impeachment proceedings against Trump. On Tuesday, the town of Weston, Massachusetts, joined the list when residents supported a citizen petition asking the House to assess whether Trump is violating the Constitution. We speak with constitutional attorney John Bonifaz, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People.
AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show with an update on efforts to impeach President Donald Trump. In November, a half-dozen Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice and other offenses.
For more, we’re joined here in New York by constitutional attorney John Bonifaz, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People.
Welcome back to Democracy now!, John. What’s happening?
JOHN BONIFAZ: Well, there’s significant momentum growing at the grassroots level and, as you say, among those members of Congress who stood up and introduced those articles of impeachment, now 17 communities on record all across the country calling for impeachment proceedings to begin against this president, millions of Americans signing petitions, including ours, at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org. This campaign is designed to protect the Constitution and our democracy in the face of what is a constitutional crisis—a president who’s trampling on the rule of law.
AMY GOODMAN: Why impeach?
JOHN BONIFAZ: Well, the impeachment power is what we have as people, under the Constitution, to remove a lawless president. There is an investigation that special counsel Mueller is proceeding with, and that’s a criminal investigation—whether or not the president or any of his associates have committed violations of federal criminal law. But there’s a separate issue that also must go forward in parallel to that investigation, and that’s an impeachment investigation—whether the president has abused his power and abused the public trust.
And now we have seen, both with the emoluments violations, violations of the anti-corruption provisions of the Constitution, where the president is treating the Oval Office as a profit-making enterprise at the public expense, with obstruction of justice, with potential conspiracy to collude with the Russian government to interfere with our elections, with the abuse of the pardon power. The list goes on and on, Amy. And the fact is that this president must be held accountable under the law, and that’s through the impeachment process.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Weston, Massachusetts, what happened?
JOHN BONIFAZ: Weston, Massachusetts, is the most recent community that’s stepped forward, via a town meeting, and called for these impeachment proceedings to begin. There will be other communities that step forward. But I think what’s important now is we, as a people, stand up to defend our Constitution and our democracy in the face of a president who so defies the rule of law.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, John Bonifaz, we’re going to do Part 2 of this discussion at democracynow.org. People can find it in our web exclusives section. John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People.