Charlotte sends letter to Welch calling for Trump impeachment investigation

Peter Welch
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. File photo Kristopher Radder/Reformer Staff

CHARLOTTE — On Town Meeting Day residents passed a resolution saying President Donald Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

The resolution calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate “whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump,” and town officials just sent a copy to Democratic Congressman Peter Welch.

Welch has been a staunch critic of the president, he has also met with Trump looking for common ground.

In a statement Welch said, “I was pleased to see Vermonters in Charlotte and across the state engage at town meetings about the threat of the Trump presidency to our democracy. These are difficult times and citizen engagement and action on the local, state and national level is essential.”

“My approach is to fiercely fight President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and the curtailment of any civil liberties while demanding transparency and accountability. I am vigorously opposing his policies that will intensify income inequality, deny climate change, and shred the social safety net while proposing constructive alternatives that address the many challenges we face,” he added.

Impeachment is not a quick process and at this moment it’s not a practical one, Welch said. It requires a majority in the House, which is dominated by Republicans, and a two-thirds majority in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause states that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them (the United States), shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

A sign in the town of Charlotte. Photo by Emily Greenberg/VTDigger

The Charlotte resolution argues that, through his international business empire, Trump is violating that clause. During his first news conference as president-elect, Trump outlined steps he would take to distance himself from his business interests.

The resolution also claims Trump is in violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause, which states that aside from the president’s salary, “they shall not receive within that Period any other Emoluments from the United States, or any of them.”

Here again, Charlotte says Trump is violating the Constitution as a result of his domestic business holdings. The president has retained his ownership interest in the Trump Organization, but outsourced day-to-day operations to his adult sons.

Charlotte’s resolution is not the first time a liberal-leaning Vermont town has attempted to take on a Republican president via symbolic action on Town Meeting Day.

In 2008, Marlboro and Brattleboro voted to issue citizen arrest warrants for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on the grounds they committed war crimes during the Iraq War.

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  • Pete Novick

    A little history reminder for Congressman Peter Welch…

    As a result of the 2010 Census, the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature chose to combine the 10th and 12th Congressional districts, (into a new district – the 9th), forcing the two Democratic incumbents to face off in a primary in August 2012. Dennis Kucinich, who represented the 10th Congressional District, lost, and as a result, America lost one of the true champions of “the little guy.”

    The woman who beat him in the Democratic primary was Marcy Kaptur, hands down, one of the most decent and fair-minded people in Congress today – and another stalwart champion of “the little guy.”


    Kucinich was the Congressman who, on June 9, 2008, was recognized on the floor of the US House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and then proceeded to read read into the Congressional Record the draft thirty-five articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.


    Yes, it was a symbolic gesture.

    And yes, it was the right thing to do.


  • I find it very disappointing that, deciding ahead of time he can’t win, Rep Welch opts out, not even to investigating Trump violation of the Constitution. If nothing else, an investigation would offer needed citizen awareness of the Constitution, including the Emoluments Clauses.

    Lots of Banana Republics around the world have copied our Constitution but allow their leaders to violate it at will. And we’ve seen the disasters that ensue.

    Yes, let’s make America great again.
    And above all, let’s make the Constitution great again.

    • Robert Lehmert

      I don’t think that’s what Peter said. Investigations are taking place at a rapid pace in a variety of venues. Let’s get to the bottom of the extent of foreign influence and what sure looks like collaboration and coordination with antagonistic foreign governments. Public and congressional pressure is building, and the nation is very anxious. If it turns out that there was coordination between the Trump campaign, Wikileaks, and foreign governments, and that activity was an attempt to affect the election, Republicans may enforce the law upon President who violates the oath of office by profiting through his office. Peter would certainly not be a lonely voice at that point.

      Meanwhile, I think we should be very wary about lifetime judicial appointments.

      • Willem Post

        The chairman of the House intelligence committee just announced it has zero information regarding Trump, etc., collaborating with foreign governments to get elected.
        Regarding interference, the EU media, supported by EU leaders, were doing their best to vilify Trump so he would not be elected, because their business-as-usual, juicy, trade surpluses would be in jeopardy.

        • Robert Lehmert

          That’s a really carefully framed statement which is at its heart a falsehood. Maybe you didn’t intend it to be so carefully framed but yesterday’s 5 1/2 hour hearing led to no such exculpatory statement — quite the contrary — and I suspect you know that. Poor Mr. Trump — tricked by mean ol’ Paul Manafort who was Trump’s “brief” campaign chairman. Laughable. When the FBI concludes its investigation, we can revisit this subject. Are you a betting man?

    • Jamie Carter

      It would be a waste of time. We learned from Bill Clinton that violating the law of the land is not enough to get you impeached. Rep Welch is correct, sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles, and picking one you are sure to lose isn’t a smart thing to do. If you can lie under oath and not be removed from office, surely simply owning a global business that is active in foreign lands isn’t going to get you in trouble.

      • Willem Post

        Clinton lied under oath about a sexual affair, which would be considered a humorous, laughable offense in Europe.
        Nixon lied under oath about not knowing about a burglary, and the revelation of the tapes made all much worse.

  • Anthony Redington

    There already exists plenty of reasons for impeachment including the President’s mental health and violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution. The quicker the impeachment or removal from office by other Constitutional means the better for a steady, responsible governing until the next elections choose new leadership.

  • Edward Letourneau

    The Revolution began over taxes, not cuts to overly generous benefits. Why do we need to remind a US Congressman of that?

  • Edward Letourneau

    Art. II Sec. 4, “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and
    Misdemeanors”. Trump hasn’t committed any. He may before he’s done, but there are no grounds now. — People who want this now, must have failed high school civics.

    • Willem Post

      I agree.
      Why go through a distracting, mostly political, charade, unless there is proof of malfeasance in office?
      Let us focus on important issues, such as reducing our $600 billion annual trade balance by means of fair trade and enforced trade agreements.
      US trade negotiators have been out-negotiated by foreigners for the past 70 years.
      Perot, a businessman, labeled NAFTA as a giant sucking sound regarding US jobs. He has been proven right.
      Trump, another businessman, merely agrees with Perot.

  • Joe

    The citizen’s Trump impeachment strategy. The rules of Congress stipulate citizens can initiate the process. A Missouri citizen used this to impeach a federal judge. Spread the word.