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Ethics & Religion
Column #1,868
June 15, 2017
Trump Should Be Impeached
By Mike McManus

 

Three events this week offer fresh evidence of the crimes of President Donald Trump, which should lead to his impeachment.

First, The Washington Post reported Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is interviewing senior intelligence officials on "whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice." This investigation of "Trump's conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin," the Post reported.

The President had been assured by then-FBI Director James Comey on three occasions beginning in January that he was not personally under investigation. However, that changed shortly after Comey's firing.

Less than a week after Daniel Coats was confirmed by the Senate as the Director of National Intelligence, Trump asked Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with him privately. The President asked whether "Coats could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn," according to associates of Coats.

Of course, Trump made the same request of Comey, as he testified last week to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

A couple of days later Trump called Coats and Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, asking them to issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of coordination between his campaign and the Russian government.

Both men refused to comply with the President's request.

However, they provide corroborating evidence to Comey's, that the President tried to stop the FBI's investigation, or to put it legally, there was an "attempted obstruction of justice."

Trump acknowledged on NBC in an interview with Lester Holt, that he fired Comey because of "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

This is quite similar to Watergate and the move to impeach Nixon. He tried to use the powers of his office to stymie an FBI investigation. Nixon was heard on tapes telling his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, to call in the CIA and tell them "The president believes that...they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case, period!"

With that proof that Nixon was engaged in the Watergate cover-up, top Republican congressional leaders told Nixon he would be impeached if he did not resign. Two days later Nixon resigned.

The Post reported, "Investigating Trump for possible crimes is a complicated affair, even if convincing evidence of a crime were found. The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say, the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings."

However, Trump's attempts to obstruct justice are only one reason to impeach him.

There is another quite different reason why Congress should consider ousting the President. The Attorneys General of Maryland and of Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit Monday accusing President Trump of violating anti-corruption laws through his ownership of companies that have accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments during his time in office.

The Constitution prohibits a U.S. office holder from accepting "any present, Emolument...from any King, Prince or foreign State."

The lawsuit charges that the President's interest in a global business empire "renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the Constitution and calls into question the rule of law and the integrity of the country's political system."

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh charged, "It is unprecedented that the American people must question day after day whether decisions are made and actions are taken to benefit the United States or to benefit Donald Trump. The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy."

Nearly 200 Democratic Members of Congress and the Senate filed a similar lawsuit Wednesday accusing the President of violating the Constitution by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments.

The lawsuit charges: "An officeholder, in short, should not be the sole judge of his own integrity."

Trump's response is that he has turned management of his businesses over to his sons, and that he would donate any profits to the Treasury. No such donations have been made.

Impeaching Trump will be difficult with a Republican Congress. However, Hillary Clinton beat Trump in 23 Republican Congressional Districts. Democrats only need to pick up 24 seats to gain the majority. If there were an impeachment initiative, many of those Republican Congressmen might vote to impeach - and thus secure their seats from Democratic challengers.

Impeach Donald Trump!
____________________________________
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous columns go to  www.ethicsandreligion.org. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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