Top Obama Lawyers Join To Dig Into Trump’s Abuse of Power
by CathyM –
I really, really think we need to tell folks about this group! I haven’t seen them mentioned before.
Obama lawyers form ‘worst-case scenario’ group to tackle Trump
Fearful the new administration will abuse its power, the former president’s lawyers are uniting to fight back.
Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight.
United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months. They’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), allowing them to operate as a nonprofit but participate in some forms of political advocacy as well.
While other Trump opponents focus on taking the president to court over the travel ban and deportations, the new group plans to drill into issues that aren’t already hitting the headlines, like potential intervention in and intimidation of regulatory agencies by West Wing staff.
They started by submitting 50 Freedom of Information Act requests this week that they believe will confirm their suspicions. The plan is to bring what they find to reporters, build it into pressure for congressional oversight with the help of a campaign director they’ll hire, and, as necessary, to file lawsuits.
They’re also hoping to establish themselves as a base for government employees worried about ethics violations — up to and including becoming whistleblowers — and are hoping that their website, https://unitedtoprotectdemocracy.org/,can become a resource.
And here is their info from their website:
What is United to Protect Democracy?
United to Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit with an urgent goal: to hold the President and the Executive Branch accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have protected our democracy through both Democratic and Republican Administrations. We have seen an unprecedented tide of authoritarian-style politics sweep the country that is fundamentally at odds with the Bill of Rights, the constitutional limitations on the role of the President, and the laws and unwritten norms that prevent overreach and abuse of power. The only limits to prevent a slide away from our democratic traditions will be those that are imposed by the Courts, Congress, and the American people.
Who Are We?
United to Protect Democracy was conceived by a group of former White House and Administration lawyers and experienced constitutional litigators, all with a deep understanding of how the federal government works. As we were the ones tasked with implementing and enforcing the norms that have constrained presidential power for decades, we know what those guardrails are and when those in power may be tempted to violate them. As we defended past presidents against legitimate oversight and illegitimate attacks, we also know how to leverage tools outside government to prevent the exploitation of power within it. One thing that we know about those tools, however, is they require an engaged public—they require all of us to unite to make them effective.
What Will United to Protect Democracy Do?
We will monitor, investigate, report on, organize and litigate against any action taken by the Executive Branch that could erode the rules, practices and freedoms that underpin our ability as a self-governing people to hold our leaders accountable. In short, we will unite with Americans from all backgrounds to use every tool at our disposal to protect our democracy.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos