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Donald Trump: the Case for Impeachment

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  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The Atlantic, March 2019 Issue: Impeach Donald Trump

    We have discussed Trump's possible impeachment in several different threads. However, Lawrence O'Donnell made the case for impeachment citing The Atlantic article above. The Atlantic had planned the article for release in their March issue of the magazine but brought it forward in the internet because of the important urgency they attach to it. For that reason I have given it its own thread. O'Donnell said it should be read by every Congressperson.

    I'll lift one paragraph from the excellent article relating to just one aspect of the case for impeachment:

    "The oath of office is a president’s promise to subordinate his private desires to the public interest, to serve the nation as a whole rather than any faction within it. Trump displays no evidence that he understands these obligations. To the contrary, he has routinely privileged his self-interest above the responsibilities of the presidency. He has failed to disclose or divest himself from his extensive financial interests, instead using the platform of the presidency to promote them. This has encouraged a wide array of actors, domestic and foreign, to seek to influence his decisions by funneling cash to properties such as Mar-a-Lago (the “Winter White House,” as Trump has branded it) and his hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Courts are now considering whether some of those payments violate the Constitution."

    There is much more to contemplate in the article, but I would be violating copyright laws to copy them here. It is a very long article and needs to be read from beginning to end without any distractions. And then let it soak.

    In my opinion, the Atlantic has made a convincing argument for impeaching Trump starting the process NOW. If we are to have intelligent discussions of the case to impeach Trump and the impeachment process that must follow, then I would use this article as a reference point and to stimulate thought.

  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    George Will, Washington Post, January 19, 2019: George F. Will: Trump is an almost inexpressively sad specimen

    George Will is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post. His scathing opinion article on Donald Trump calling him a sad specimen is republished in the Salt Lake City Tribune at the above link. One paragraph:

    "Dislike of him should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory."

    If one is looking for grounds for impeachment, they should not only look at the Atlantic article, but also the arguments of a well known conservative columnist. George Will is now a contributor on MSNBC and his regular scathing rebukes of Trump are especially notable.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt, the impeachment process is to cumbersome to even contemplate it. Also don't forget it does not make sense if the Senate is still in the hands of the GOP. The "freedom caucus" is the biggest obstacle. As I've written so many times that the "antique system" here is broken, because even an Article 25 can't be used, because again also too complicated. It is time they invent something else, just like in any job, you should be able just to "fire" the guy for not performing. The mistake in this country is that they promote an President as an "god" like figure and as some idiotic lawyers (Barr as well) say: "he's above the law" . As long as there is no law stating that an President has to comply with all the labor laws applicable to any "worker" then the removal of an President becomes less complicated if such law states such. In an real Democracy they don't have "Kings" who rule as they like without consequences.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Schmidt, the impeachment process is to cumbersome to even contemplate it. Also don't forget it does not make sense if the Senate is still in the hands of the GOP. The "freedom caucus" is the biggest obstacle.

    The impeachment process isn't cumbersome at all. It's actually quite simple. The House of Representatives would vote on a resolution to give the House Judiciary Committee the authority to investigate whether there's grounds to impeach a President and determine if a President committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." If a majority of the committee determine that he has then they will vote on whether to recommend impeachment to the full House. If 218 Representatives vote in the affirmative then a President is impeached.

    The tricky part is the trial in the Senate where two-thirds of members must vote to convict, but that's an entirely separate process than impeachment.

    Is it the best way to hold a tyrant accountable? Absolutely not. But it's the only system we have and it's the only system we will continue to have for the foreseeable future.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: In my opinion, the Atlantic has made a convincing argument for impeaching Trump starting the process NOW. If we are to have intelligent discussions of the case to impeach Trump and the impeachment process that must follow, then I would use this article as a reference point and to stimulate thought.

    My days of predicting outcomes are gone forever, but I can envision more than a dozen scenarios where Democrats will have no other choice than to open impeachment proceedings against Donald. Maybe Mueller finds something damning directly implicating Donald in a felony or maybe one of a dozen House Committees conducting their oversight duties unearth something entirely different. The possibilities are endless.

    I'm not concerned about House Democrats finding an impeachable offense, but I am concerned that everyday Americans clamoring for Donald's removal from office are woefully misinformed about how difficult it is. Impeachment is the easy part.

    Conviction in the Senate will require all Democrats and twenty Republicans to vote for removal. That is a monumental task, even if Donald literally shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    jaredsxtn said " I am concerned that everyday Americans ................... are woefully misinformed about how difficult it is."

    I would opine that most Americans think impeachment is a single step process that removes a president from office.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Schmidt, the impeachment process is to cumbersome to even contemplate it. Also don't forget it does not make sense if the Senate is still in the hands of the GOP. The "freedom caucus" is the biggest obstacle.

    The impeachment process isn't cumbersome at all. It's actually quite simple. The House of Representatives would vote on a resolution to give the House Judiciary Committee the authority to investigate whether there's grounds to impeach a President and determine if a President committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." If a majority of the committee determine that he has then they will vote on whether to recommend impeachment to the full House. If 218 Representatives vote in the affirmative then a President is impeached.

    The tricky part is the trial in the Senate where two-thirds of members must vote to convict, but that's an entirely separate process than impeachment.

    Is it the best way to hold a tyrant accountable? Absolutely not. But it's the only system we have and it's the only system we will continue to have for the foreseeable future.

    Just wait and see; it will take forever; the lawyers and the Freedom Caucus and their cronies etc. make sure of that. More talk than action; you should know better ; how long did it take to impeach Nixon? Nothing is "simple" in this government or its procedures. Also I doubt if Trump will cooperate, let alone Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barr etc.. Wow.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Wikipedia: Impeachment process against Richard Nixon

    The formal process of impeachment of Nixon began on February 6, 1974 and ended six months later with his resignation on August 9, 1974. It is widely assumed that had both the House and Senate finished their processes he would have been convicted.

    The length of the process really depends on the weight of evidence acquired before the impeachment process begins. In Trump's case it will likely be dependent on what the Mueller investigation reveals and when and if it is made public. It will also require a strong populist campaign for 20 Republicans in the Senate (and all Democrats) to convict.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Wikipedia: Impeachment process against Richard Nixon

    The formal process of impeachment of Nixon began on February 6, 1974 and ended six months later with his resignation on August 9, 1974. It is widely assumed that had both the House and Senate finished their processes he would have been convicted.

    The length of the process really depends on the weight of evidence acquired before the impeachment process begins. In Trump's case it will likely be dependent on what the Mueller investigation reveals and when and if it is made public. It will also require a strong populist campaign for 20 Republicans in the Senate (and all Democrats) to convict.

    Your last line says it all; as long as there is strong opposition from the GOP (especially the freedom Caucus and its cohorts) then it will be an long process or will be torpedoed. With Nixon at least the GOP had some unity and consistency, but not now. Also Nixon resigned; I doubt if Trump will.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Wikipedia: Impeachment process against Richard Nixon

    The formal process of impeachment of Nixon began on February 6, 1974 and ended six months later with his resignation on August 9, 1974. It is widely assumed that had both the House and Senate finished their processes he would have been convicted.

    The length of the process really depends on the weight of evidence acquired before the impeachment process begins. In Trump's case it will likely be dependent on what the Mueller investigation reveals and when and if it is made public. It will also require a strong populist campaign for 20 Republicans in the Senate (and all Democrats) to convict.

    My message to any Democrat clamoring for immediate impeachment would be to find a hobby to keep themselves occupied for awhile because any attempt to remove Donald from office is going to be extremely difficult and may very well wind up helping Donald in the long run if Democrats are successfully portrayed as overreaching.

    I keep thinking about the Nixon resignation and I just can't help but believe he would have finished his term had there been a Fox "News" type channel that effectively muddied the conversation surrounding Nixon's crimes.

    Just look at how Fox "News" and rank and file Republicans handled the (now disputed) accusation that Donald ordered Cohen to lie to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow. The talking heads on Fox "News" weren't even concerned about Donald's obvious obstruction of justice, they were more focused on making it sound like what Donald was accused of wasn't that big of a deal. Only after the Special Counsel (partially) disputed the report did they attack the report itself.

    I think that's a warm-up of things to come if Mueller unearths crimes that directly implicate Donald.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Your last line says it all; as long as there is strong opposition from the GOP (especially the freedom Caucus and its cohorts) then it will be an long process or will be torpedoed. With Nixon at least the GOP had some unity and consistency, but not now. Also Nixon resigned; I doubt if Trump will.

    The Freedom Caucus is as worthless as a $3 bill now that Democrats took over the House. Well, other than successfully convincing Donald to shut down the government with absolutely zero plan to get out of it.

    I guess I should say that the Freedom Caucus is as worthless as a $3 bill when it comes to impeachment. As are all House Republicans. The only Republicans that matter if Donald is impeached are the 53 members of the Senate Republican Conference.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    jaredsxtn said " I am concerned that everyday Americans ................... are woefully misinformed about how difficult it is."

    I would opine that most Americans think impeachment is a single step process that removes a president from office.

    Watching the Saints robbery yesterday I asked about impeachment. Only one person understood impeachment to be levying of charges and that person was a Democrat. The rest were Trump supporters. The Trump people told me that Trump's shutdown was designed to get rid of dead weight. They said after so many days the shutdown displaced workers would lose their jobs and not be rehired.

    Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It does not mean removal from office; it is only a statement of charges, akin to an indictment in criminal law. Once an individual is impeached, he or she must then face the possibility of conviction by a legislative vote, which judgment entails removal from office.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment

  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    My message to any Democrat clamoring for immediate impeachment would be to find a hobby to keep themselves occupied for awhile because any attempt to remove Donald from office is going to be extremely difficult and may very well wind up helping Donald in the long run if Democrats are successfully portrayed as overreaching.

    I agree. However, many of the newly elected members of the House will be anxious to show they are following their constituent's wishes to start investigations leading to impeachment proceedings. These committee investigations can and should start with the understanding that their findings will form the basis of impeachment if warranted by the evidence -- and that evidence should also be enhanced by what comes out of the Mueller investigation.

    I'm sure Mueller is feeling the pressure to share some of his findings before he is ready to do so. Nancy Pelosi and Democrats will have to manage the expectations of the liberal-progressives calls for impeachment while not appearing to be on the sidelines waiting for something to happen with Mueller's team.

    If Mueller takes another six months to finish his report, the public can be very impatient waiting and waiting.

    Michael Cohen's testimony on February 7th before the House Oversight and Reform Committee will set the tone for the path forward.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Your last line says it all; as long as there is strong opposition from the GOP (especially the freedom Caucus and its cohorts) then it will be an long process or will be torpedoed. With Nixon at least the GOP had some unity and consistency, but not now. Also Nixon resigned; I doubt if Trump will.

    The Freedom Caucus is as worthless as a $3 bill now that Democrats took over the House. Well, other than successfully convincing Donald to shut down the government with absolutely zero plan to get out of it.

    I guess I should say that the Freedom Caucus is as worthless as a $3 bill when it comes to impeachment. As are all House Republicans. The only Republicans that matter if Donald is impeached are the 53 members of the Senate Republican Conference.

    Yes, related to the House you may be correct, however in the Senate they may fight twice as hard to undo things. Especially don't forget all the butt crawlers who stick with Trump also in the House, who get an lot of aid from Fox and Trump's "slush" funds.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Tucson, AZ
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    The New York Times published an article this morning that compared the articles of impeachment against Nixon and Clinton, and how they could easily be modified to fit Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/05/opinion/impeachment-trump-democrats-nixon-clinton.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    I understand that there are political risks for the Democrats, and it's extremely unlikely that McConnell would ever bring to a vote in the Senate, but it is still the right thing to do, as it will truly expose the treasonous activity of both McConnell and Lindsey Graham BEFORE the 2020 elections. As evidenced by some of the billboards I've seen posted in Kentucky, McConnell is going to have a hard time getting re-elected, and his lack of inaction may well be the "nail in the coffin".

    Republican senators are already tired of Trump, and a MAJORITY of them have already said that they would not support Trump's tariffs on Mexico. It would not take much to convince them to badger McConnell into bringing a vote on impeachment to the floor.

    https://www.newsweek.com/republicans-threaten-block-donald-trumps-proposed-mexico-tariffs-1442210