A prominent Democratic donor called on every governor in the United States and the mayors of 2,000 cities to tell constituents where they stand on the question impeaching President Donald Trump—an issue that has been publicly raised by two lawmakers since the president took office in January.
In a letter, billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer asked state and local leaders to call on federal representatives to support Trump's removal from office. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) introduced articles of impeachment last month in the House, following Rep. Brad Sherman's (D-Calif.) filing in July.
Politicians at all levels of government "have a duty to speak out" about Trump's lack of fitness for office, wrote Steyer. He called out the president's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and his sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by refusing to make payments to insurance companies to ensure coverage of low-income Americans as violations of the public's trust.
Steyer also accused Trump of violating "the Constitution and the office of the Presidency." A lawsuit mounted by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Wednesday argued that the president's continued ownership of his hotel chain violates the Constitution's emoluments clause.
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Other critics and legal scholars have said Trump's sabotage of the ACA goes against his oath to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, impeachment hearings are extremely unlikely, but according to Steyer, efforts to remove Trump could become "a very real issue should we succeed in our midterm goal." Democrats need to flip 24 seats in the House and hold on to 10 Senate seats in states that voted for Trump in 2016, in order to win a majority next year.
"I am asking you today to make public your position on the impeachment of Donald Trump, and to urge your federal representatives to remove him from office at once," Steyer wrote. "Your constituents deserve to know they are represented by people in every level of government who have the patriotism and political courage to stand up and take action when it is so desperately needed."