A-Very-Preliminary Draft of Articles for Trump’s Impeachment
There’s nothing like an idea whose time has come.
Is it too early? Well we know that Step One on the House Judiciary Committee has already begun.
Again-it’s beginning not concluding.
For that matter, Trump’s lawyers are already looking at impeachment.
“White House lawyers are researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for a possible attempt to remove President Donald Trump from office. With both houses of Congress controlled by a Republican majority, Trump’s impeachment is a distant possibility but one that the White House is preparing for, two people briefed on the discussions told CNN.”
Yes. A big difference right away with Watergate is that the Dems ran Congress then. Technically, it’s not hard to impeach a President-I say technically. All you need is for the opposition party to control the House and believe the President committed an impeachable offense.
The fact that we have previously had just three cases of impeachment in our 228 years tells you it may be technically easy but it is still not easy in practice. Otherwise it would have been done more often.
As much as the GOP loathed President Obama and sought to obstruct him at every turn they never seriously considered impeachment-as the political consensus just wasn’t there.
History tells us to impeach the President you need the opposition party to control the House. Again, we must remember that impeachment is not hard to do technically, but removal from office is considerably tougher.
The only time a POTUS resigned was Nixon who knew they did have the votes to remove him-and so technically he was never impeached. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached but they didn’t have the votes in the Senate for removal.
I argued yesterday that realistically removing Trump before 2020 seems a long shot. Impeachment, on the other hand, seems realizable.
Basically the odds of impeachment are correlative with Dem odds of winning the House in 2018. They do and impeachment or at least impeachment proceedings that correlate with the 2020 election-which might be the optimal position for the Dems-is very likely.
Is the probability of impeachment at all greater than that of a Dem House? Undoubtedly but you wouldn’t think by a very large percentage. It goes down to what likelihood you see a House GOP agreeing to impeach Trump. I wouldn’t put that very highly though it’s true we are facing something truly unprecedented. \
But why would a 2019 House GOP that hung on against the Democratic #Resistance voluntarily impeach Herr Trump? Principle? We’ve seen no evidence of that yet.
There’s a very interesting piece out on Politico Magazine this morning that shows that Trump’s true precursor may well be not Andrew Jackson as he wants it to be but the other Andrew.
“When Congress Almost Ousted a Failing President.”
Again-to repeat myself-I’m not sure what the odds are for removing Trump from office. And honestly, I’m not even sure this is the optimal political situation for Dems. That might be, again, conducting impeachment hearings in Congress as Americans go to the polls. Maybe impeach him formally just a few days or weeks before and then the the Senate has to look at it-though whether the Dems take the Senate as well in 2018 is a factor to consider.
If not then safer to time the impeachment vote as close to Election Day as possible.
One of the things with Johnson as bad as his temperament and unfit as he very arguably was for office, it wasn’t clear what specific crimes he had committed. To be sure, you don’t have to show a POTUS committed a technical crime just that s/he has ‘violated his/her oath of office.’
There are some very good candidates for Trump-perhaps much better than with Andrew Johnson. After all, one of the articles of impeachment against Johnson was his nasty and violent pieces of temper. That’s a very unattractive personality trait but is it a high crime or misdemeanor?
Trump’s firing of the FBI Director investigating him has a much stronger legal basis than anything in Andrew Johnson’s many articles it would seem.
Heck, Trump commits impeachable offenses every day with his constant violations of the Emoluments Clause.
Same day they got that arms deal, the Saudis plopped $100mil into Ivanka's charity. Now, will the GOP cry foul like they did with Hillary?
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 21, 2017
If you’re drafting up impeachment articles then we start out with:
1. Obstruction of Justice: his firing of Comey while under investigation
2. Constant violations of the Emoluments Clause.
3. This is before we even get into what the Russia investigation actually uncovers. And we know he committed serious crimes prior to being POTUS in his business with the felonious Russian mobster Felix Sater.
If we do find collusion with Russia, that’s got to be a very serious high crime or misdemeanor.
It would call into question his very legitimacy. How do you allow someone to occupy the Oval Office when their ‘victory’ itself is tarnished and facilitated by collusion with a hostile foreign power?
4. Then there is the very act of turning over classified info to Russia. That certainly could be its own separate article.
5. Then there’s allowing Mike Flynn to continue to review our highest intelligence after knowing he was a foreign agent of Turkey under FBI investigation.
6. By no means am I pretending to offer up a full, comprehensive list here.
But Doug Blackmon offers up a list based on what we already know for fact-not just something we need to investigate:
“To understand why this is so serious, it’s important first to realize what is truly important to the inquiry—and escape some of the distractions of the past six months. Why Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November, or exactly how Russian interests attempted to disrupt and influence our electoral process is important, but ultimately not what matters most. Whether former Trump campaign officials and advisors failed to disclose past business dealings with interests in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey is a question that will be answered, but not a defining one. That President Trump and his family have had past business dealings or allegedly engaged in personal hijinks in Russia is hardly important at all.”
“No, this is an investigation about one thing: the now undeniable fact that a Russian espionage conspiracy accomplished an objective that has never previously occurred in American history—compromising the highest levels of U.S. government, penetrating the White House, establishing influence and leverage over the president’s National Security Advisor, and planting false information with the Vice-President of the United States—who then unwittingly repeated those fictions to the American people.”
“The penetration of the White House by Russian spy agencies was already known and incontrovertible at the time Sally Yates testified on May 8. Still unknown, though, are the answers to three crucial questions which will ultimately decide the fate of the current presidency:
–QUESTION 1: What did President Donald Trump know, and when did he know it? Most importantly, when did he know that his selection for National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, had illegally communicated on Dec. 29, 2016 with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and lied about it to other officials in the Trump White House?
–QUESTION 2: Did the Russian spy conspiracy directly reach and compromise President Trump himself? Most importantly, did he encourage Flynn to communicate illegally with Russians, or know about it after the fact, and do nothing?
— QUESTION 3: Did President Trump take actions to thwart the FBI investigation into the Russian conspiracy—in an effort to conceal that one or more members of his White House staff were compromised, or to hide his own illegal conduct? If so, do his actions amount to the crime of obstruction of justice?”
The wrong answers to any of these questions lead pretty clearly to a violation of Trump’s oath of office.
Keith Olbermann, for his part, lists 17 different impeachable offenses from Herr Trump within the course of a week-between Comey firing to Oval Office victory dance with Russia, to the tapes, etc.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.