As President Donald Trump was placing his hand on Lincoln's Bible and being sworn into America's highest office, a not-so-subtle website simultaneously went live.
ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org announced the start of a yet another campaign to impeach President Donald Trump. But this time the liberal advocacy groups behind the movement, Free Speech for People and RootsAction, were bringing a long-term legal plan to back their cause.
The website specifically calls out Trump's failure to fully divest from his various business interests, stating:
Mr. Trump chose instead to announce, just nine days before inauguration, a wholly inadequate plan to step away from operations, but not ownership or income streams, of the Trump Organization. Instead, he has chosen to profit from the presidency at public expense, in violation of the United States Constitution. The violations, the corruption, and the threat to our republic are here now.
The groups believe Trump's continued ownership of luxury hotels and golf courses could be key to his impeachment through the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which “prohibits a president from accepting a gift or benefit from a foreign leader or government."
According to The Washington Post , the groups are specifically looking at Trump's profits from the spending by foreign diplomats at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, as well as rent paid by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China in the Trump Tower Hotel in New York.
Trump's lawyer Sheri Dillon said that the President would donate "profits" from these foreign clients to the U.S. Treasury without any details on how such payments would be tracked or collected.
While critics might think the campaign is failing to give Trump a chance to lead, the supporters see it as an opportunity to stop the President before he has a chance to violate the Constitution.
Ron Fein, legal director at Free Speech for People, told the Post, "If we were to wait for all the ill effects that could come from this, too much damage to our democracy would occur. It will undermine faith in basic institutions. If nothing else, it’s important for Americans to trust that the president is doing what he thinks is the right thing … not that it would help jump-start a stalled casino project in another country.”
So what exactly would need to happen for Trump to be impeached?
The first step would be getting a resolution introduced that calls for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there are valid grounds to impeach Trump. However, it’s important to remember that the House is currently controlled by the GOP, making it more unlikely that a resolution would be passed.
The Constitution is incredibly vague about the guidelines for impeachment of federal officials only requiring there be “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” That means there's no guarantee the foreign emoluments clause could even be used as the basis for an impeachment.
Instead the New York Daily News has a different theory on what could lead to Trump's impeachment: perjury. As an international businessman, the President has been involved in over 4,000 state and federal lawsuits with at least 60 still open as he takes office. Allan Lichtman, the American University history professor who got a lot of attention before and after the election for predicting well before Election Day that Trump would win (and, later, impeached) told the Daily News, "Anything he does to undermine those lawsuits in any way could cross the line ...that's a basis for impeachment."
However, it's worth remembering that Bill Clinton, one of only two Presidents to successfully be impeached by the House, was later acquitted by the Senate.
For now, it's a waiting game.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.