Why Donald Trump Should be Impeached

Why Donald Trump Should be Impeached

Even before he takes office, Donald Trump looked like possibly the most impeachable president in history, rapidly surpassing the incredible bar set by George W. Bush. After taking office, things have only gotten worse. Whether you like Vice President Pence’s politics or not (I don’t), any true patriot must agree that Trump is a danger to the country, and that removing him from office is a necessity.

Originally published 2016

During the George W. Bush presidency, I was staggered by number of impeachable actions that were taken under his administration. At one point, I had counted up to more than 30. But by the time I got around to posting them online, I had lost track of a dozen or so. The remaining 20 are documented in the Bush Impeachment essay. Donald Trump’s presidency looks to be similarly problematic, so this time I’m started the list early, even before he took office.

Note while I am a “democratic socialist” as a matter of philosophical inclination, there have been many Republican presidents I admire, even while disagreeing with their fiscal policies. (Eisenhower, Reagan, and George Bush senior come to mind.)

And there was one ineffective Democratic president (Jimmy Carter) I would have impeached for failing to take action. That failure caused hostages to be held in Iran for more than a year, a situation that came to an end only when Reagan was about to take office, gun in hand and finger on the trigger. (You see, I am strong on defense for the same reason that I am a democratic socialist — it’s about what’s best for the people of the country. At the same time, I am strong on preventing catastrophic climate change, because I would really like the species to survive.)

Finally, note that a sitting President can be impeached for any reason, involving any kind of impropriety. The offenses do not have to be illegal.
Learn more: When is Impeachment Warranted?

  1. Lying about the number of jobs saved in an Indiana factory.
    • Actually, his documented instances of lying are numerous. This is just one example. More are sure to follow. The question is, how effective can a president be if no one can possibly believe what he says?
  2. Giving high-level cabinet posts to unqualified individuals with questionable intent.
    • Jeff Sessions for Attorney General — a know racist and white supremacist who has called organizations that protect civil liberties like the NAACP and ACLU “un-American”.
    • Scott Pruit as head of the EPA — a fossil-fuel advocate who has who sued the EPA and denies climate change. This appointment by itself threatens the very existence of humanity, and is sufficient grounds for impeachment.
    • Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary — who has long opposed government control of public education (which, as it happens, is the only path to equality of opportunity)
    • Andy Puzder for Secretary of Labor — a longtime foe of unions (who gave us the 5-day, 40-hour week, and most of the benefits we take for granted)
    • On the surface, the appointments appear to be aimed at undermining the goals of the agencies in question. That will probably appeal to Republicans and short-term profit takers. But given that the role of government is, in my view, to embody wisdom and foresight, it is difficult to believe that effectively deactivating those agencies will result in long-term good for the populace.
  3. Failure to attend security briefings.
    • Say what?? That has to be the most important part of his job.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      After Taking the Oath of Office in January, 2017
  4. Violating a critical foreign-bribery provision of the United States Constitution.
    • His refusal to sell his businesses means that he he and his family will be getting paid by foreign interests.
    • Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitute states that “no person holding any Office…shall, “without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state.”
    • At the Virginia convention debating the Constitution, Edmund Randolph used the example of a President taking emoluments from a foreign power as grounds for impeachment.
    • His plan to have his children manage his interests as a form of “separation” is Corruption 101 — a ruse used the world over that fools no one.
  5. Unbridled, vindictive, and unthoughtful Tweeting
    • As president-elect, he has tweeted about everything and anything he perceives as a slight to his image.
    • As Thomas Friedman wrote in response to What are you most worried about in a Trump presidency?:
      “I find the way he has been tweeting and approaching complex issues disturbing and unbecoming of a president. With Taiwan, for instance. It’s reasonable to say we want a more muscular relationship with China. Administrations come and go and it’s perfectly within the realm of proper foreign policy to consider that option. But you want to do that when you have a Secretary of State to ask about the diplomatic implications, a Secretary of Commerce about the commercial implications, a Secretary of Treasury about the impact on the dollar, and so on. But to just tweet it out and without deep analysis of the tradeoffs of these things is worrisome.”
  6. Failing to hold press conferences.
    • It has been suggested, in fact, that he is actually seeking to silence the press — thereby avoiding any thoughtful critique or embarrassing questions. His actions are certainly not illegal. But are they what we want, or what the country needs?
  7. Failure to release tax returns.
    • This is simply unconscionable. Not doing so before the election was (perhaps) prudent, to prevent political attacks. Waiting until the audit was finished was similarly prudent. Not doing so after being elected and after the audit finished is simply unacceptable. He could be getting billions from the Chinese and Russians. He could be getting money from anywhere. We have no way to know, until he releases those returns — and without them, no way to prove that he is acting responsibly in his office, on behalf of the American people, rather than on behalf of his bottom line. That failure, coupled with the suggestion that there was collusion with Russia, is grounds for impeachment.
  8. Blatant Nepotism
    • Hiring incompetent, unqualified individuals as a payoff for past political support is reprehensible, but at least understandable. Hiring qualified relatives makes even more sense. But hiring totally unqualified sons, daughters, and son-in-laws is an obvious problem — too blatantly obvious for Congress to ignore.
  9. Loss of International Prestige
    • A German poll showed that the percentage of people who regard the U.S. as a trusted ally dropped 37% in four months after Trump took office, in November of 2016, from 67% to 30%. Any President who occasions that level of international disrespect simply cannot be tolerated.
  10. Loss of Tourism
    • Foreign visitors are voting with their feet, and are simply refusing to come here, which all by itself is sufficient grounds for impeachment.
    • New York alone expects to lose $600 million this year.
    • This article from the U.K. reports a 6.5% drop in travel books, after Trump’s travel ban, and the concomitant reports of so many people being denied entry. It also reports drops as high as 22% in Britain and 44% in Sweden. Many Canadian citizens have also decided to stay away. Overall, the loss to the U.S. economy is expected to be $3 billion.
    • Forbes reports that at $246 billion, the impact of foreign tourism is larger than auto exports, agriculture exports, and petroleum product exports. They report that the last sustained drop after a mid-East war and America’s saber-rattling policies under Bush was three percent. Even that small a decrease would amount to a loss of $7 billion. But the projected decrease looks to be much larger than that.
  11. Maintaining an “open trust” that gives him undisclosed access to profits from his businesses.
    N.Y. Times Op Ed, 18 Apr 2017
  12. Holding on to a profitable lease on a hotel only a stone’s throw from the White House, when divesting himself of that lease is not only the obvious but the right thing to do.”
    N.Y. Times Op Ed, 18 Apr 2017
  13. Deciding that it will no longer release White House visitors’ logs that have been available for years, to further shut the blinds and close the door on any semblance of transparency.
    N.Y. Times Op Ed, 18 Apr 2017
  14. For the specious argument that posting those records would cost taxpayers $70,000 by 2020 ($25k a year?), while at the same time spending multiple millions of dollars for every weekend trip he takes to Mar-a-Lago.
    N.Y. Times Op Ed, 18 Apr 2017
  15. “An almost total absence of openness in an administration that is teeming with real and potential conflicts and that has decided it can grant secret waivers to ethics requirements. Plus a culture of self-enrichment and self-dealing in which corporate C.E.O.s, lobbyists and foreign officials seeking the first family’s favor hold parties at Mar-a-Lago and at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, a couple of blocks from the White House.”
    N.Y. Times Op Ed, 18 Apr 2017
  16. For arguably having ties and financial dealings with Moscow, while at the same time shutting the door on any kind of transparency.
  17. For doing what is quite possibly irreparable harm to the traditions and institutions of our republic, and to our international standing in the world.
  18. 20 May 2017. As Charles Blow opines in this N.Y. Times, Op Ed, “Donald Trump’s mounting reversals, failures and betrayals make it increasingly clear that he is a fake and a fraud….His promises are crashing to earth like a fleet of paper airplanes….He isn’t cunningly unpredictable; he’s tragically unprepared and dangerously unprincipled….Trump cares only about Trump, his brand and his image, his family and his fortune. Indeed, his personal philosophy as president might best be described as clan over country.”
  19. May, 2017: Secret meetings with Russian officials.
    The visitor logs are no longer open to the public. The American press was banned from the oval office. Trump met with the Russian ambassador and another top official. He had the largest smiles he has ever had when meeting with any foreign dignitary. We only saw those pictures because the Russian press published them. And he was outraged when they did so. What more do we need?

These are just the highlights. For a list of 50 reasons for impeachment, check out this video by Keith Olbermann, posted on February 6, 2017 — a few weeks after his inauguration. The list mostly involves lies, a clear separation from reality, and an inability to deal with foreign leaders. I do not like Mike Pence or any of the policies he represents, but at least he is not a dangerous lunatic who may well cause our country irreparable harm.

However the sad, deplorable fact is that impeachment is unlikely, for the reasons explained here: Trump: No Special Prosecutor, Impeachment Unlikely.

Copyright © 2016-2017, TreeLight PenWorks

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