A leading contender for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship said President Donald Trump has committed several offenses that could be considered grounds for impeachment.
Congressman Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, whom Trump mentioned earlier this week, said on CNNthe president "has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment."
"On day one, he was in violation of the Emoluments Clause," Ellison said, citing a portion of Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which states no member of government can accept payments or gifts from a foreign government without the consent of Congress.
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"The day people checked in to his hotel and started paying him, foreign dignitaries, he was in violation of that law," the congressman said during a debate for the leadership of his party Wednesday.
Ahead of his inauguration, Trump saidhe wouldn't divest of his holdings, but would instead maintain an ownership stake in the Trump Organization while resigning from management, which his two sons would take over.
Additionally, the president's lawyer said the Trump Organization would make no new foreign deals. It also said domestic deals would be subject to an internal ethics review, and that profits made from foreign governments would be donated to the U.S. Treasury.
"So, yeah, I think that we need to begin investigations to not go after Donald Trump but to protect our Constitution and the presidency of the United States, to make sure that nobody can monetize the presidency and make profit off of it for their own gain," Ellison said, responding to a question from CNN's Dana Bash on whether he stood with fellow party members who are calling for the president's impeachment.
The congressman's words came just hours after Trump delivered a backhanded compliment on Twitter, praising Ellison for predicting Trump's win.
One thing I will say about Rep. Keith Ellison, in his fight to lead the DNC, is that he was the one who predicted early that I would win!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2017