UPDATE: 6:05 p.m. EST — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday President Donald Trump has been reckless and incompetent in his first two weeks in office, but has done nothing impeachable.
“When and if he breaks the law, that is when something like that would come up. But that’s not the subject of today,” she said in response to comments from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
More than 600,000 people have called for the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump by signing a petition on the Impeach Trump Now website, citing violations of the U.S. Constitution.
“The president is not above the law. We will not allow President Trump to profit from the presidency at the expense of our democracy,” the petition’s header reads. As of 3:49 p.m. EST Monday, 611,214 people had signed the petition.
The document goes on to say the nation is “witnessing a massive corruption of the presidency far worse than Watergate,” which proved the undoing of Richard Nixon, who resigned rather than face trial in the Senate in 1974.
Nixon White House counsel John Dean has told reporters that the level of corruption in the Nixon administration does pales compared “to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.”
The petition cites violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution, which bars gifts and payments from foreign governments as well as from the federal government or any U.S. state. Trump’s plan for separating himself from his businesses is totally inadequate, states the petition, launched by Free Speech For People and RootsAction.org on Inauguration Day.
Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction and a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, in an op-ed piece in the Hill Monday, called on a “resolute member of the House” to initiate impeachment proceedings, which he said should also investigate whether Trump is in violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, which unlike most laws also covers the president.
“A crucial test for democracy is whether people in high places can violate the law with impunity. For democracy in the United States, the biggest danger is unchecked presidential ability to violate the Constitution,” Solomon wrote.
A poll by Public Policy Polling indicated 40 percent of voters would be in favor of impeaching Trump, up from 35 percent before the inauguration, while 48 percent were opposed.
“Usually a newly elected President is at the peak of their popularity and enjoying their honeymoon period after taking office right now,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But Donald Trump’s making history once again with a sizeable share of voters already wanting to impeach him, and a majority of voters wishing they could have [former President] Barack Obama back.”
Much of the dissatisfaction with Trump stems from his executive order on immigration.
“Americans think last week’s executive order is a Muslim ban and they don’t like it,” Debnam said. “And beyond that, they think the order was executed in an incompetent fashion.”
The order has been blocked by a federal judge and an appeals court, which refused to countermand the judge’s order, is considering briefs on the issue.
Trump rejected both the legitimacy of the order and the poll, saying, “people want border security and extreme vetting” and it will be U.S. District Judge James Robart’s fault if a terrorist attack is committed in the United States.
Beyond immigration, those queried were critical of White House political strategist Stephen Bannon, took a dim view of Trump’s pronouncements on voter fraud and are critical of the funding plan for a wall across the U.S. border with Mexico. Also attitudes are changing on whether the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.