One of the great laments thus far is that with Republicans holding both Houses and the presidency, we New Yorkers feel "stuck in a bubble," with no way to check anyone's power.
Thanks to this article from ThinkProgress, it seems that we do: it looks like NY's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has the ability to sue Trump for violating the Constitution. Californians via AG Xavier Becerra do as well. Read here for long version.
We all know that Trump in three short weeks has already violated the Constitution in a number of ways, but one of the clearest violations is the "Emoluments Clause" - taking money from foreign governments, through his DC and NY hotels. He's been brazenly - really, really brazenly - self-dealing since the moment he took office. The fact that he's remained so involved in his family's relatively rinky-dink business while being the President of the United States is maybe one of the weirdest things about him. (In addition to being horrible, this guy is so downright weird. It's almost too hard to fathom.)
Since Trump Organization is incorporated in NY, and is doing business illegally (taking emoluments), Schneider can sue the Trump Organization and its largest shareholder, the president, and bring action to dissolve the company. This is called "Quo Warranto"; I'd never heard of it before this article, but apparently it's been used before and can be used to get things like the president's tax returns into the public sphere. Let's get our AG to give it a shot.
Here is the text for you to use as starter language for a phone call or email. Contact info below--
Sue Donald Trump Under Quo Warranto Provision
Dear Attorney General Schneiderman,
I am writing/calling to urge you to bring a Quo Warranto action against the Trump Organization. Based on New York Business Corporation Law 1101, you have the power to "bring an action for the dissolution of a corporation"…that has "transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner." It is pretty clear that the Trump Organization, incorporated in New York, has been acting fraudulently, particularly with respect to the Emoluments clause as set out in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution. You have the standing to sue the Trump Organization, and I urge you to use that power.
Thank you for your hard work standing up to this administration thus far. Please keep up and step up the great work.
Eric Schneiderman contact info: NY office (212) 416-8000; Brooklyn office (718) 560-2040; General Helpline: 1-800-771-7755; contact form: https://ag.ny.gov/questions-comments-attorney-general-eric-t-schneiderman.
Xavier Becerra: Public Inquiry Unit: (916) 322-3360; contact form: https://oag.ca.gov/contact/general-comment-question-or-complaint-form
As always, let me know your feedback - I'd be interested if you thought this is a good idea. Also a note: we had a very successful phonebank this weekend, led by Sharmila - it was fun.
We'll see whether Laurie Warner carries the Minnesota 32B race in the next day or so - if she does, expect some cheering. We'll definitely be doing more phone banking in the weeks to come, and we'll keep you posted.