State Dept. envoy spells out 'impeach' in resignation letter to Trump

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Aug. 23, 2017 at 3:56 PM
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Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Daniel Kammen, the science envoy for the U.S. State Department, resigned Wednesday in a letter to President Donald Trump in which the first letter of each paragraph spelled out the word "impeach."

Kammen said he was departing the role in response to Trump's reaction to violent and racially tinged demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., earlier in the month. During one demonstration on Aug. 12, a woman protesting against white nationalists, Heather Heyer, was killed when a car drove into the crowd and hit her.

"My decision to resign is in response to your attacks on core values of the United States," Kammen said in the letter addressed to Trump. "Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications."

The day of Heyer's death, Trump issued a statement on Twitter condemning the violence.

"We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!" he said on Twitter.

Later in the day, Trump expanded, saying: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."

Two days later, he more explicitly condemned the racism on display in the Charlottesville rally, describing the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs," though he still blamed "many sides" for the violence.

"To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America," Trump said. "And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God."

Kammen said Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville incidents "is consistent with a broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet."

In the letter, he also took issue with Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, saying it undermines energy and environmental research and is "not acceptable to me."

"Action and words matter," Kammen said. "To continue in my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere.

"Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet."

Kammen is a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab.

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