Thursday, March 9, 2017

Robert Reich’s Impeachment Update

By my count, there are now 4 grounds to impeach Trump. The fifth (listed below) seems to be on its way.

1. In taking the oath of office, a president promises to “faithfully” execute the laws and the Constitution. (Article II Section 2). But Trump is "unfaithfully" executing his duties as president by accusing his predecessor, President Obama, of undertaking an illegal (and impeachable) act.

2. Article I Section 9 of the Constitution forbids government officials from taking things of value from foreign governments. But Trump is making big money off his Trump International Hotel by steering foreign diplomatic delegations to it, and will make a bundle off China’s recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand – decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president.

3. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution bars any law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But Trump’s ban on travel into the U.S. from six Muslim countries – which he initiated, advocated for, and oversees – violates that provision.

4. The 1st Amendment also bars “abridging the freedom … of the press.” But Trump’s labeling the press the “enemy of the people” and choosing whom he invites to news conferences based on whether they’ve given him favorable coverage, violates this provision.

5. Article III Section 3 of the Constitution defines “treason against the United States” as “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Evidence is mounting that Trump colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election.

The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there is the political will. As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House (where a bill of Impeachment originates), it’s unlikely.

Another reason why it’s critically important to flip the House in 2018.