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Est. April 5, 2002
June 15, 2017 - Issue 703

Give Him a Chance to Do What?

"He’s had his chance
to act presidential."

So we’ve now just about reached the six month mark in a Donald Trump presidency and I can’t see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because, quite frankly, the rainbow is dimming. Trump has tooted his own horn and labeled himself a “winner” and told his campaign supporters, “I’ll have you [as the American public], “winning so much that you’ll be tired of winning.” Well. I ain’t there yet…are you? Oh. Give him a chance, you say?

We’ve heard those pundits and surrogates of Trump repeat the phrase, “give him a chance.” We’ve heard it from the die-hard supporters of the so-called president - all forgetting that same call from liberals when Obama was elected and of course, Republicans gave him no chance. Here’s what we know about “give him a chance:” He’s effectively squandered all “chance” by his idiotic attempts at policy changes, immature responses to perceived opposition and out and out gratuitous lies.

With his chance to govern, he has made a doubly concerted effort to violate the US Constitution. If that isn’t the most audacious offense any democratically elected leader (and no, I don’t believe he was) can do. By the way, on Tuesday, the 9th Circuit ruled to uphold the injunction banning Trump’s Muslim travel ban - an obvious loss for the loser.

Our local NPR-affiliate radio station runs a promo that goes: “Minute by minute, the Trump Administration breaks news.” That kind of stuck with me. All I could think was they do indeed break news...idiots usually do. They also break relationships; they break American confidence; they break the rules; they break wind; and they break the law.

The one thing I have believed would sink him for sure - and people have acted like it doesn’t exist - is Trump’s violation of the Emolument Clause of the US Constitution. … talk about your proverbial “elephant in the room!” The man should have been under impeachment charges on the 20th of January 2017! His business interests are clearly a Constitutional violation and finally, someone has taken action to address the elephant in the room!

Karl Racine, the District of Columbia Attorney General, filed a lawsuit alongside Brian Frosh, Maryland's Attorney General, that cites the Emoluments Clause, which says no federal official should receive a gift or a fee from a foreign government. It is the first such lawsuit filed by government entities.

Trump knows what he’s doing is illegal - as do the leaders in the Republican party, but his “F-U” finger continually stays up - pointed at the American people. It cannot go unaddressed that this guy continues to govern in the midst of extensive business entanglements, and he refuses to adequately distance himself from his holdings. He’s been told; he’s had a chance. Why do I say that? I say it because a non-governmental organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), lodged a similar legal action in January.

All he’s going to do next is blame The Left or the media or Hillary Clinton and call it “sour grapes.” Well, that it ain’t! He’s operating illegally, and no one can deny it…not even his most ardent supporters. So let me tell you why they can’t argue (and you tell them I told you so):

  • A section of the US Constitution known as the emoluments clause restricts what US Presidents can accept from foreign governments.

  • The Clause says “no person holding any office of profit or trust” may accept “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

  • America's founding fathers included this to prevent US leaders from becoming beholden to foreign governments.

  • Legal analysts say that if the Trump Organization accepts special deals, such as tax breaks or land rights overseas, it could fall foul of the clause. Even overseas profits could potentially be construed as a violation.

Once Trump secured the election, he had the country mollified. People were scared to call a spade a spade. People from coast-to-coast knew that Trump was outrageous, inflammatory and inaccurate. Everyone with the capacity to think, knew that he supported - and was supported by - racists and racist policies. Hell, that’s how he got elected (or selected); voter disenfranchisement and voter suppression won the day for Trump, just as they have across the country since the Tea Party era of 2010’s elections.

What to me is an obvious conflict of interest is the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. The Trump International Organization leases the Old Post Office Building from the US General Services Administration (GSA). Trump, as President, is both “landlord and tenant” of that building, yet GSA has given him a pass. GSA needs to end the lease.

And what about his building at 40 Wall Street? The Trump Organization owns the right to lease the space in this office building in Manhattan - and makes money from the rent paid to the building. According to Bloomberg News, there are five ongoing federal investigations into current or former tenants of 40 Wall Street, mostly for securities fraud. And ironically, those investigations are headed up by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

During confirmation hearings, Democrats criticized Trump's appointee to head the SEC, Jay Clayton, for his ties to Wall Street firm; but, you know what happened with that.

And I don’t even want to talk about the North Dakota Access Pipeline…Trump got away with murder! Sioux tribes and allies (including me and my family!) had protested for months to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline from being built under water supplies near the Standing Rock reservation. Trump had a partial investment (between $500,000 and $1million) in Energy Transfers Partners, the parent company of the firm building the pipeline.

Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokesperson, announced that Mr. Trump sold his stock in Energy Transfer Partners. But another one of Trump's stock holdings, Phillips 66, owns a 25% share in the project. By the way, he’s probably lying.

There are too many to name here, but what we know is that he’s had his chance to act presidential - and govern like he has sense. He refuses. Whether it’s Russia, the firing of James Comey or ignoring the fact that Black people also live in these United States, Trump has had his chance. It’s time for litigation and prosecution. America needs a “do-over,” and the Emoluments Clause lawsuit is our next chance. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Tweet him @socialspeaks. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers