President Donald Trump Facing Expulsion From SAG-AFTRA After Capitol Riots

The SAG-AFTRA National Board accused President Donald Trump of violating the union's constitution, which could result in his expulsion from membership.

By Cydney Contreras Jan 19, 2021 9:44 PMTags

President Donald Trump is facing expulsion from the SAG-AFTRA union.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the SAG-AFTRA National Board held a special session to vote to find probable cause that Trump violated its constitution. The union alleges the president incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and has waged a "reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists." 

The SAG-AFTRA's Disciplinary Committee will next hear the charges and decide whether Trump violated the union's constitution, as required by federal labor laws. If found guilty, he faces reprimand, censure, fines, suspension from the rights and privileges of membership, or expulsion from the union.

National Executive Director David White initiated the charges at the request of President Gabrielle Carteris.

In a statement, Carteris said, "Donald Trump attacked the values that this union holds most sacred—democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press... There's a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers."

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White also released a statement emphasizing the importance of protecting broadcast journalists, who are members of the union. "Our most important role as a union is the protection of our members. The unfortunate truth is, this individual's words and actions over the past four years have presented actual harm to our broadcast journalist members," said White. "The board's resolution addresses this effort to undermine freedom of the press and reaffirms the principles on which our democratic society rests, and which we must all work to protect and preserve."

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Trump, formerly known as the star of NBC's The Apprentice, has been a member of the SAG-AFTRA for more than thirty years.

According to Deadline, the president currently receives a pension of $90,776 for the roles performed on SAG-covered shows and an additional $8,724 pension for his AFTRA-covered work. 

However, his pension will not be affected even if his membership is revoked. 

Expulsion from the SAG-AFTRA union is seemingly the least of the president's problems.

On Jan. 13, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for the second time in his four-year tenure. A majority of the House voted to charge him with "incitement of insurrection," citing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, where certification of the 2020 election results was underway. 

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At the time, Trump instructed his followers to gather in Washington D.C. to protest what he claimed were "fraudulent" votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. He said in a speech a few weeks prior, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard... We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

Five people were killed in the riots, including a Capitol police officer who was repeatedly hit with a fire hydrant. 

Trump only condemned the attack following his impeachment, saying in a video, "I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week."

Some of Trump's allies have denounced the events of Jan. 6, including House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

On Tuesday, the GOP Senator took to the Senate floor to rebuke Trump. "The mob was fed lies," McConnell said. "They were provoked by the President and other powerful people."

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