Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs, Demand Justice For Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Ask Them to Pressure the White House to Do Better, Dammit

Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that they do everything in their power to deliver justice on behalf of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ask them to pressure the White House to do better than their current piss-poor reaction.

 

On October 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé.

 

He never came out.

 

A team of Saudi assassins are accused of killing Khashoggi. We won’t repeat the details that Turkish news sources are reporting; they’re startlingly gruesome. Suffice it to say that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi leader colloquially known as MBS, saw Khashoggi and his writing as an irritant.

 

Saudi officials maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back entrance, but he has not been seen since October 2. Virtually no one in the world intelligence community doubts that Khashoggi is dead, and virtually no one doubts that he was assassinated.

 

As this post is being prepared, there’s word that the Saudis might be working on a new story that acknowledges Khashoggi’s death but characterizes it as an interrogation gone wrong. Ahem.

 

Khashoggi’s alleged murder is a gross affront to all that is good and right. He wrote for the Washington Post and had deep connections to Saudi society, giving him insights that few could match. He was uniquely positioned to see the flaws of his native country, and he was uniquely equipped to name and describe those flaws. Also, he had adopted the United States as his home-in-exile. He held a green card and paid taxes.

 

Trump and his administration have done an unusually piss-poor job of reacting to the Khashoggi situation, which is saying something. While Trump promised unspecified “severe punishment” if Saudi leaders are responsible for Khashoggi’s death, he also bought the Saudis’ current spiel about Khashoggi’s fate and their role in it, and he showed that he valued the U.S.’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia more than upholding the bedrock American value of free speech. In an October 13, 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

 

See a Time magazine article that quotes Trump reacting to the Khashoggi situation:

http://time.com/5424150/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal/

 

Several news outlets have highlighted the fact that the Saudis give the Trumps a lot of money. Here’s a CNBC piece about Saudi patronage of Trump hotels:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/saudi-guests-boosted-revenue-at-trumps-new-york-hotel-reversing-drop.html

 

Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin about Trump family connections to the Saudis, in which she cites reports that MBS bragged that he had Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “in his pocket”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/16/whose-interests-is-trump-looking-out-for-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.238d5f11fa63

 

And if you’re wondering if Trump’s entanglement with the Saudis and their copious fonts of cash looks like a violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, read these October 17 tweets from Jonathan Ladd, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:

 

The fact that most in the political establishment except liberal activists has decided to pretend the emoluments clause doesn’t exist and allow a president to accept massive foreign bribes puts them in a weak position to claim that the Senate and SCOTUS must always stay the same.

If you want evidence that constitutional arrangements evolve over time, and practice, for better or worse, doesnt always match the original intention, just look the the emoluments clause. It’s original intention and interpretation until 2015 was that foreign bribes were forbidden
How did we effectively repeal the emoluments clause? Through the amendment procedure in the constitution’s text (2/3 of congress + 3/4 of states)? Nope. We just decided to ignore the text and tradition.
The best procedure to enforce the emoluments clause is impeachment, but the president’s party in Congress just decided that they didn’t care about foreign bribes, Constitutional text and tradition be damned. So now that Constitutional clause is unenforced and dead.

 

Also see Charlie Pierce’s fire-breathing opinion piece in Esquire that flatly accuses Trump of violating the Constitution because his connections to Saudis and their money evidently restrained him from giving them both barrels when the Khashoggi news broke:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23872355/president-trump-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-emoluments-clause/

 

So, here’s what you can do. Call your members of Congress–your two Senators and your House Rep–and demand substantial action on Khashoggi.

 

The impeccable and exquisite Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) got there first on Twitter with calling scripts, which we’ll reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to show your appreciation for her work.

 

Once you have made your calls, describe your experience on Twitter using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

A note on saying the Saudi journalist’s name: Kah-sho-gee is perfectly fine.

 

If your House Rep is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check this link to see if he or she is a member (click the blue button at the top to pull up the Republicans and the Democrats):

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

If one or both of your Senators are on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations, it is extra-important that you call. The full list of members is below:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/membership

 

Here is Celeste Pewter’s script for House of Representatives members:

 

Here is the script for your Senators:

 

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Check out All the President’s Profiting, a Project of OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics

Visit and bookmark All the President’s Profiting, a truly astonishing project by OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

The Founding Fathers were pretty damn clear–they didn’t like the idea of the president using the office for personal gain. Most Americans agree. The notion that Trump might be profiting from serving as president rankles anyone who isn’t a fully marinated member of Cult 45.

 

OpenSecrets.org, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPR), has tracked payment records to assemble a startling picture of how Trump might be reaping personal gains from his rarified position.

 

Titled All the President’s Profiting, it contains 657 entries that detail payments to Trump properties; payments from Trump-related committees; payments from the Republican Party, its candidates, officials, and leadership PACs; and also payments from Democrats.

 

 

See All the President’s Profiting:

https://www.opensecrets.org/trump/trump-properties?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tw-trump-properties-121417

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Visit the OpenSecrets.org “About” page:

https://www.opensecrets.org/about/

 

 

Donate to the work of OpenSecrets.org and the CPR:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16#nav

 

 

Like OpenSecrets.org on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/OpenSecrets/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@OpenSecretsDC

 

 

Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

See and Save This Running Tally of Donald Trump’s Conflicts of Interest as President

This OTYCD post originally appeared in January 2018.

 

See and save this running tally of Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest as president.

 

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) was sounding the alarm bell about Trump’s potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause before he took office.

 

They were the ones who brought suit against Trump for violating the clause. (The case was dismissed in October 2017, with the judge essentially saying that CREW did not have standing to sue, and only Congress could decide what an Emoluments violation looks like.)

 

Because Trump refused to divest from his business empire as president, CREW has continued to document potential violations.

 

Trump Inc: A Chronicle of Presidential Conflicts lays out a timeline of problematic actions that date back to January 25, 2017.

 

 

See it here, and please bookmark it for future reference.

https://www.citizensforethics.org/trump-timeline/?timeline-category=1023

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Here also is the main website for CREW:

https://www.citizensforethics.org

 

 

Donate to CREW’s work:

https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/match?amount=100

 

 

Like CREW on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/citizensforethics

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@CREWcrew

 

 

Read about the CREW vs Trump lawsuit:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-alleging-trump-violated-constitution/2017/12/21/31011510-e697-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.e600d8bc319e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/10/01/the-emoluments-clauses-litigation-part-5-problems-with-the-complaints-in-crew-v-trump/?utm_term=.f54660353677  (This is an opinion piece)

http://joshblackman.com/blog/2017/10/20/analysis-of-oral-arguments-in-crew-v-trump/ (This is a lawyer analyzing the oral arguments in the case)

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/are-the-emoluments-lawsuits-filed-against-president-trump-dead

 

Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Thank You Actions

Thank These Lawyers for Suing Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

Numerous ethics experts and lawyers warned that Donald Trump’s business entanglements would place him in violation of the Constitution the instant that he took office as president.

On Monday, January 23, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) brought suit against the newly sworn-in president. Please send thank-you postcards to the team that is pursuing the case.

The New York Times story on the suit is below, and the addresses are below the link. Note this intriguing paragraph, which appears deep in the article:

“Mr. Eisen said the legal team intended to use the lawsuit to try to get a copy of Mr. Trump’s federal tax returns, which are needed to properly assess what income or other payments or loans Mr. Trump has received from foreign governments.”

So, this lawsuit might achieve another worthy goal, too–forcing Trump to release his tax returns, which his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway recently said he would not do, despite the fact that almost 600,000 people have signed a whitehouse.gov petition asking him to do so. (If you want to sign the petition, which closes on Feb 19, go here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-release-donald-trumps-full-tax-returns-all-information-needed-verify-emoluments-clause-compliance)

 

Please send thank-you postcards to:

 

Erwin Chemerinsky

Norman Eisen

Deepak Gupta

Richard W. Painter

Zephyr Teachout

Laurence H. Tribe

c/o Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

455 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Sixth Floor

Washington, DC 20001

 

 

 

 

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

 

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Keep Demanding that Congress Investigate Trump’s Impeachable Offenses

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

 

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Learn Why Trump Is Impeachable Now

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

Read the Brookings Institution report on Trump and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Ethicists Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, along with Harvard University Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, released a comprehensive report in December titled The Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump.

The clause appears in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, and bars any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States]” from taking “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” without a direct and clear OK from Congress. The clause stops the president and other high-ranking officials from taking bribes and other pricey gifts from foreign entities.

The Brookings report dismantles Trump’s claim that a sitting president cannot have a conflict of interest. It also details the background of the Emoluments clause; explains what an emolument is; and makes clear that the clause applies to the president.

The upshot? The authors flat-out say, “Mr. Trump, as President-Elect, appears to be on a direct collision course with the Emoluments clause.”

Under the section titled Remedies for Emolument Clause Violations, the authors state: “If Mr. Trump enters office in what would obviously constitute a knowing and indeed intentional violation of the Emoluments Clause and then declines to cure that violation during his tenure, Congress would be well within its rights to impeach him for engaging in ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.'”

 

Here is a link to the Brookings Institution report:

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gs_121616_emoluments-clause1.pdf

 

Here are just a few articles that reveal dealings and behaviors that might place Trump in violation of the Constitution:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-presidency-overseas-business-deals-and-relations-with-foreign-governments-could-all-become-intertwined/2016/11/25/d2bc83f8-b0e2-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html?utm_term=.982f402fbd93

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/11/30/trump-announces-he-will-leave-business-in-total-leaving-open-how-he-will-avoid-conflicts-of-interest/?utm_term=.ebc7a85c1e60

 

This article talks about how Trump’s web of business deals isn’t just a huge, roiling snarl of conflicts of interest–it might threaten national security, too:

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

 

And here are some articles that discuss how violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution puts Trump at risk of impeachment:

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-start-violating-constitution-sworn/story?id=44056726

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-violate-constitution-george-bush-ethics-lawyer-diplomats-trump-washington-dc-hotel-a7428406.html

 

Since the Brookings Report came out, Trump announced his plans to deal with his conflicts of interest. This New York Times article recounts their failings:

 

Also see Wednesday’s OTYCD post in support of Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics:

https://wordpress.com/post/onethingyoucando.com/1343

 

And see Thursday’s OTYCD post on supporting the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act:

https://wordpress.com/post/onethingyoucando.com/1207