Ethics & Religion
Feb. 1, 2018
Trump Should Be Impeached
By Mike McManus
Last June I was one of the first to call for impeaching Donald Trump,
and was criticized for being premature. Robert Mueller had only begun
his investigation. With Republicans in control of Congress, it was
unlikely that the House would vote for articles of impeachment.
However, there were already multiple examples of Trump's "obstruction of
justice" which was the major charge against Nixon. First, Trump tried to
stop the FBI's year-old investigation on whether there was any
coordination between the Trump campaign for President and Russia.
When FBI Director Comey refused to swear loyalty to Trump, and to back
off his investigation of Michael Kelly, Trump fired Comey - a clear
"obstruction of justice."
I also noted in my June column that the Attorneys General of Maryland
and Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating
anti-corruption laws through his ownership of companies that have
accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments. The Constitution
prohibits a U.S. office holder from accepting "any present
Emolument...from any King, Prince or foreign State."
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
In a hearing last week on the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Peter
Messitte noted, "You have diplomats from certain Arab countries that are
declaring that they are taking their business (to Trump's hotels) in
order to curry favor with the president."
On July 8, aboard Air Force One, Trump helped draft a false public
statement for his son, Donald Trump, Jr., stating that a 2016 meeting
between his campaign leaders and Russians was about adoption. His son
later acknowledged that the meeting was to discuss damaging information
that Russians had about Hillary Clinton.
Last week we learned that Trump asked his White House attorney, Donald
McGahn, to fire Mueller, but McGahn refused and threatened to quit in
protest if Trump did not back down.
This recent attempt to obstruct justice parallels Nixon's attempt to end
Watergate by firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon did not want
to release tapes of his conversations in the White House with his top
aides about Watergate. Instead, Nixon offered a written summary of the
Cox rejected that proposed compromise and insisted that he would return
to court to compel the release of the tapes. In October, 1973 Nixon
ordered his Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox and abolish
However Richardson refused to fire Cox and resigned. Nixon then asked
Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Similarly, he
resigned as well. This was the famous "Saturday Night Massacre."
(Eventually Justice's Solicitor General Robert Bork fired Cox.)
On July 24, 1974 the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to turn over the tapes.
In less than a week the House Judiciary Committee approved three
articles of impeachment: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and
contempt of Congress.
One of Nixon's articles of impeachment charged that he "made false or
misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of
the United States."
Trump has repeatedly lied about American intelligence agencies
conclusions regarding Russia's role in the 2016 election. Remember they
came to a unanimous conclusion, published in October, 2016 before the
election, that there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.
Therefore, Trump asked Daniel Coats, his new Director of National
Intelligence and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to issue public statements
denying the existence of any evidence of coordination between his
campaign and the Kremlin. Both men refused, supporting the conclusions
of their predecessors.
Trump hoped that when he fired FBI Director Comey, that his year-long
investigation would end. However, Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney
General, appointed Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation
that has more authority and credibility than Comey ever did.
That's why Trump has been trying to fire Mueller.
However, it appears that Mueller will soon be interviewing Trump about a
wide range of issues that certainly will include his firing of Comey and
attempted firing of Mueller. Let's assume he makes a persuasive case for
With Republicans controlling the House, there will be no impeachment in
However, 38 Republican Congressmen have already announced their
retirements. Democrats only need to pick up 24 House seats to take
control of the House. And Hillary Clinton beat Trump in 23 House seats
held by Republicans. They are also vulnerable.
Therefore, I predict Democrats will capture the House in November and
will consider Trump's impeachment in 2019.
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
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