Donald Trump is out of power — but the threat of presidential abuse of power remains.
Let’s rewind the clock a few decades. After Watergate, Congress passed reforms that placed urgently-needed restrictions and checks on the Executive Branch. It was a common-sense response to the most dramatic abuse of presidential power in American history to date, but it wasn’t enough.
Trump went further than even Nixon in breaching ethics norms and abusing presidential power — and the Protecting Our Democracy Act would address the clear threats to our democracy exposed by his actions. It’s a comprehensive bill that addresses issues ranging from abuse of presidential pardons to profiting from the presidency.
Throughout his four years in office, Trump and his administration found new and corrupt ways to abuse the power of the Executive Branch.
Some of his most blatant examples of abuse were profiting from the presidency, demanding foreign election interference, consistently obstructing and undermining Congress, treating the DOJ like his personal attorney, and abusing the pardon power.
Why was this such a consistent theme of the Trump administration? The problem is not just that Trump was willing to abuse his power — it’s that Congress was often powerless to prevent it. Trump was able to exploit weakness in our legal system to carry out his corrupt, personal agenda, and without reform, this will surely happen again in the future.
Trump used our tax dollars to prop up his businesses and to support his own re-election bid. That’s money that didn’t go towards the U.S.’s COVID-19 response, helping our economy, combating climate change, or any other crisis our country is currently facing.
Unless we take action now, future administrations could get away with similar abuses of power — or worse.
We can’t let Trump’s legacy of abuse of power and self-enrichment fade from memory. We need bold reform to make sure this never happens again. That’s where the Protecting Our Democracy Act comes in.
The Protecting Our Democracy Act would ensure that no president is above the law by prohibiting self pardons, preventing presidents from profiting from office, and ensuring presidents can be prosecuted for wrongdoing. It would protect the Department of Justice from political interference from the White House and defend our elections against foreign interference by enhancing criminal penalties for seeking support from foreign actors.
These reforms would help ensure that the White House is a place for serving the interests of the American people, not a place for self-enrichment or handing out “get out of jail free cards” to oneself or others.
The Path to Winning
The Protecting Our Democracy Act is exactly the kind of comprehensive reform that this moment demands.
The Trump administration showed the incredible damage that a corrupt administration can unleash. Defending our democracy and preventing future abuses of executive power should be a top priority for members of both parties. And we have a real chance to pass this legislation with bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress and have President Biden sign it into law in 2021. But only if we fight for it.
The first step is demanding the House of Representatives pass the bill. Call your representative now.
PREVENT FUTURE PRESIDENTIAL CORRUPTION
The House has introduced the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would prevent abuses of executive power in the future, including profiting from the presidency and corrupt use of pardons. Make a call and demand the House of Representatives pass this bill as soon as possible. No president should be above the law.