ACLU Again Calls for Impeachment of President Trump

January 10, 2021 8:15 pm

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union’s national board of directors unanimously passed a second resolution today calling for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not regularly call for the removal of public officials. Such a move requires action by the ACLU National Board of Directors. The full resolution states:

“Having considered the ACLU’s mission to preserve, protect, and advance civil liberties and civil rights, its commitment to nonpartisanship, and its policy permitting it to take a position on impeachment only where an official’s acts pose a ‘grave and imminent threat to civil liberties,’

“The National Board of Directors of the ACLU previously resolved, on Dec. 19, 2019, that President Trump committed impeachable offenses and violated his oath to preserve, protect, and advance the Constitution.

“The Board now resolves by a unanimous vote that President Trump has committed additional impeachable offenses, violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and poses a ‘grave and imminent threat to civil liberties’ by engaging in an extended pattern of bad-faith conduct designed to subvert the results of a democratic election, thereby violating the core principles of our constitutional democracy: the right of the people to choose their representatives, and the obligation of officials to abide by the results of free and fair elections, and ensure the peaceful transition of power.

“The pattern includes:

  • Repeatedly making knowingly false statements about voter fraud and improprieties designed to undermine the legitimacy of the election results, including in a series of frivolous lawsuits, without evidence to support the claims;
  • Pressuring election officials in several states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, to interfere with the results of the election, including a Jan. 2 taped phone call in which he abused the power of the presidency by demanding that the Georgia secretary of state ‘find 11,780 votes,’ and threatened criminal liability if the secretary of state did not do so;
  • Seeking to disenfranchise people of color by targeting many of these efforts at counties and jurisdictions, such as in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, with predominantly Black or Brown populations;
  • Directing Vice President Pence to block Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results, where the vice president had neither the authority nor the grounds to do so; and
  • Urging an unruly mob to riot at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, in an effort to prevent the certification of the Electoral College results and to intimidate members of Congress from carrying out their constitutional duties.

“The Board recognizes that officials have a right to pursue good-faith challenges to election results, where there is an arguable basis for doing so, including through public statements, outreach to government officials, filing lawsuits, and encouraging one’s supporters. But the pattern of conduct engaged in by President Trump displayed an unfounded, unconstitutional, and bad-faith effort to undermine the election results merely because the president lost in order to maintain himself in office.

“Because our democracy rests on a commitment by representatives to let the people decide, these unprecedented acts constitute high crimes and misdemeanors that pose a grave and imminent threat to civil liberties, and to the foundations of our Republic, warranting President Trump’s impeachment.

“The Board, therefore, supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump a second time on the aforementioned grounds.”

Calling for the impeachment of President Trump in December 2019 was the second instance in the organization’s history that the ACLU National Board of Directors voted to support impeachment of a president. This is the first time the ACLU is calling for a second impeachment. The organization also supported the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

For more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

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