Congressman Lieu Starts ‘Illegitimacy Clock’ on Trump

Congressman Ted W. Lieu of Los Angeles, Calif., announced today that he has started a “Cloud of Illegitimacy Clock” on Donald Trump’s continual violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States of America.

“The second after Donald Trump took the oath of office, he violated the Constitution and continues to do so,” said Lieu.

“The Framers wrote Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution to prevent foreign influence over our elected officials.  It mandates that no person holding office ‘shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever from any King, Prince, or foreign State.’

“While holding office, Mr. Trump will receive—by virtue of his continued interest in the vast and global Trump Organization and his stake in hundreds of other entities—a steady stream of monetary and other benefits from foreign powers and their agents.  This is illegal.

“Trump can stop his illegal behavior by divesting his global business interests or putting them into blind trusts.  He refuses to do so.  Not only is he violating the law, he is explicitly putting his financial interests and those of his family above the interests of America.  Trump is not making America First, he is making America Second.

“As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I will do everything I can to hold Trump accountable.  My first action is the creation of a Cloud of Illegitimacy Clock that keeps track of the seconds, minutes, hours, and days that Trump is operating outside of the law.  (Click here to access the Illegitimacy Clock.)  At some point, the Clock is going to catch up to Trump.  For now, Trump appears to be taking the position of former President Richard Nixon that ‘when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.’  How did that work out?”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal: ‘Our movement is stronger than hate’

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State posted a note on Facebook today about her background as an immigrant, the new President, the movement, and the march.

I am not in Washington, D.C. today for Trump’s inauguration ceremonies. Instead, I’m back home in my district, having conversations with people who are fearful about their futures in this country. President Trump poses an enormous threat to millions of Americans. It can get overwhelming to think of all the damage he and his administration could inflict.

On Saturday, I’ll be marching in the women’s march in Washington, D.C., breathing in the power and solidarity of diverse people drawn together by the core belief that we matter. Our voices matter.

Wherever you are, I hope you join a march. I hope you link arms with the men and women around you, and remind yourself of what we are fighting for: our vision for a just America that lifts everyone up together. This movement that we’ve built together became stronger through struggle. It’s stronger than hate or fear. We’re going to fight for what we know is right: a more just, welcoming America where anyone can live their version of the American dream, no matter who they are or where they’re from.

Read her full message here.

Rep. Mark Takano: ‘Why I’m not attending the inauguration’

Congressman Mark Takano of Inland Empire, California, today shared with his constituents his reasons for not attending the inauguration.

Tomorrow I will not be attending the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Many of you expressed support for that decision, others less so. Either way, you deserve an explanation.

My absence is a statement — to the President-elect, to the country, but most of all to you — that Donald Trump’s victory does not vindicate his past. Throughout his professional life, during the campaign, and now in his transition, Donald Trump’s words and actions are inconsistent with fundamental American values and beneath the grand office he will assume. They threaten the democratic cultural norms that are essential to our republic.

His electoral legitimacy is not in question. Tomorrow Donald Trump will be sworn in as our 45th president in a peaceful transition of power. His moral and ethical legitimacy are another story.

Read his full post on Medium.

Hillary’s Message to Muslim Americans

Donald Trump has made a name for himself in this election by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia. Now he says he wants to stop all Muslims from entering the United States. That’s a shameful idea. It’s also dangerous. At a time when America should be doing everything we can to fight radical jihadists, Mr. Trump is supplying them with new propaganda. He’s playing right into their hands.

Some Republicans have been quick to condemn Trump’s statements, but the truth is, many GOP candidates have also said extreme things about Muslims. Ben Carson says a Muslim shouldn’t be president, Marco Rubio compares Muslims to members of the Nazi party, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have suggested we should only allow Syrian refugees to come to America if they’re Christian.

I’m proud that you and I are working to build a country that stays true to our founding principles, where all people are welcome to practice their faith free of persecution. If you’re with me, I hope you’ll add your name right now.

To Muslim Americans, I want to say this: What you’re hearing from Trump and other Republicans is absolutely, unequivocally wrong. I’m proud to be your fellow American, and many, many other Americans feel the same way. Now is the time for all of us to stand up to hateful, dangerous words and deeds.

Just a few days ago, two young women wearing headscarves were trying to have breakfast at a café in Austin when another diner started shouting racist things at them. The girls left in tears — in part because of the ugly words, but also because no one came to their defense.

As they left, one of the girls asked the room, “Who cares about us?” Somebody called out, “Nobody.” “We left,” they said, “because it was true.”

But it’s not true. And we have to make sure Muslim Americans know that. It’s how we stay true to our values as Americans. And it’s how we show the world who we really are — a strong, proud, united country that still knows, after all these years, that all men and women are created equal.

If you agree, I hope you’ll add your name to stand with me right now.

Thank you,