Why Impeachment Must Happen

It's time to impeach Donald Trump.

A regular reader of this blog might be wondering why I said that.  Last year I made a post saying it would be impossible to remove Donald Trump from office because he is too skilled in gaming the system.  I also said it would be better to keep him in office because the right is already too angry and violent in this country and there could be violent repurcussions and even at risk of civil war (or perhaps we already are) if their hero is taken down.

I know all of this, but I still believe the House needs to draw up the articles of impeachment and Trump needs to stand trial.  This isn't about removing him from office - although it would be magnificent if that happened.  This is about the law and the Constitution.  This is about making sure not only Trump, but every other president in the future, understands that being president does not put anyone above the law.

What are Trump's crimes?  I shouldn't have to say what they are, but his supporters like to forget about them or ignore them.  I will list them.

First, he has not dissolved his businesses.  This is a direct violation of the Constitution.  He is enriching himself at the taxpayers expense.  When he goes to Mar-a-Lago every weekend, the cost of having all that security comes out of our pockets and go into his.

He violated the emoluments clause.

He violated campaign finance laws.

He abuses the power of his office regularly with his use of executive orders to bypass lawmakers, and his abuse of national emergencies.  He is also ignoring laws on the books regarding political asylum.

This is all without mentioning Russian interference with our elections.  We know Russia interfered with our elections at various levels in order to make sure Trump was elected. I know one could argue the efforts did not make much of an impact on the total numbers.  I know the Mueller report doesn't show Trump being an integral part of the conspiracy.  That doesn't matter.  What does matter is a hostile foreign power tried to interfere with the most sacred tenet of our democracy - free and fair elections. Trump stood by and watched.

This should shake all voters to the core.  It should be a concern for every politician in our country whether Republican or Democratic.

Trump doesn't seem to care.  If he were a good man, a good president, and a good American, he would be shouting from the podium every day how wrong this is.  He should be apologizing to the country for allowing this betrayal to happen.  He should be doing everything he can to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

Instead, he has spent the last two years denying everything.  All he cares about is making sure he is not implicated in the crime. At the same time, he seems to want to protect the Russians to make sure no future real estate deals in Russia are jeopardized.  Republicans are desperate to believe the Mueller report doesn't implicate him in obstruction, but it doesn't.  It states he is not exonerated.  It also states that he was fearful when told he was being investigated.

It scares me to see so many Republicans not caring about this.  It is terrifying to see so many people believing the end justifies the means.  All they care about is whether or not their man got in.  The methods don't matter.  Interference from a hostile foreign power doesn't matter.  I don't know why anybody should feel this is acceptable.

He ought to be removed from office, but he won't be because Republicans can't see beyond maintaining their own power.  Senate Republicans and Republican voters would rather a president who fiddled while a hostile foreign power hijacked elections instead of risking a Democrat being elected to office.  That's a frightening thought, but that is exactly how they feel.  The question is if I feel that way, why do I feel he needs to go through the impeachment process?

If Russian interference was meant to to put Secretary Clinton in office and they succeeded, would the Republicans call for impeachment?

For eight years I heard cries from the right for President Obama's impeachment, amidst cries of outrage against his abuse of executive orders and national emergencies.

President Clinton went through the impeachment process over a definition of sex. He was exonerated over the question of whether or not a  blow job can be defined as sex equal to intercourse.   If you say you didn't do the latter, but did the former, are you allowed to stay in office?  Was the trial over whether or not he denied doing anything mean he should be removed from office?

If any Democratic president continued to run his or her business while still in office, and use the office to profit from it, would there be outrage from the right?  Would there be outrage from the left?  There should be.

The nepotism.  The abuse of executive orders.  The profiting from his presidency.  The abuse of national emergencies.  The lack of security at Mar-a-Lago for sensitive international issues.  The lack of concern for Russian meddling and lack of willingness to remedy it.  All of these are dangerous precedents Donald Trump is setting.  There have been a few brave Republican senators who opposed Trump's border wall emergency saying that we have to send a message not only to Trump but to all future presidents who want to abuse power like this.  I think all of us across the political spectrum understand that we can't let Trump's behavior become the norm.  He needs to be held accountable so we don't end up setting the bar lower for future presidents.

This is why we must impeach Trump and put him on trial.  We need to stop this kind of behavior in its tracks.  We need to send a message.  No president is above the law.  No president is more powerful than the lawmakers who are supposed to keep his powers in check.  No president should put his business interests above the interests of the country he serves.  No president should prioritize the interests of a hostile foreign power.  All presidents need to know this before taking office.  If you break the law, if you disrespect the office, you will answer for it.

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