Viewpoint: Only question remaining: how many articles to include in Trump’s impeachment

Karen Rubin
Karen Rubin

The question now isn’t whether Trump should be impeached but how many offenses to include in the Articles of Impeachment.

Some believe that the Democrats who have shied away, looked the other way, because of fearing a political backlash if they prosecute the many high crimes and misdemeanors of this unhinged, corrupt, dolt who was installed in the White House by Putin, should keep it simple and just focus on Ukraine, which is the most obvious smoking gun for abuse of power and violating election law barring foreign interference.

But now, with even the White House’s edited transcript of phone call to Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump explicitly withheld crucial military aid to Ukraine until and unless Ukraine dug up dirt on his rival for 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump has doubled down, apparently believing that the more illegal acts he commits in public, the more acceptable they become, inviting China with words mimicking “Russia, if you are listening…” to similarly interfere in the 2020 election, with an implied threat “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

Add his statement to ABC’s George Stephanapolos that he would happily accept foreign assistance, it is clear that Trump has committed multiple crimes including election violations, not to mention selling out the USA’s national security for his own political or financial profit.

Ukraine has provided the clearest, most obvious case of Trump’s Mafioso-like approach to governance and the political strategy here is that it is the easiest for Americans to process. The Mueller Report, which laid out in 448 pages how Trump operatives worked with Russians (125 contacts), documented crimes and 10 obstructions of justice, also said he would be indicted but for being a sitting president, basically leaving the next step to Congress (impeach), was considered too complicated.

But others believe that if Trump is not stopped and held accountable for a huge list of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, that, if his proclamation, “I can do anything – I’m the president” is not challenged, then Congress may as well pack up and go home and cede government to a dictator.

It is the very definition of the Deep State that Trump has charged the intelligence community with.

The first article of impeachment would be Ukraine, abusing his office and betraying America’s national security interests by extorting political benefit.

Now add in:

– multiple obstruction of justice charges stemming from blocking Congress’ investigation and oversight into Ukraine, the cover up, the shadow foreign policy.
– 10 obstruction of justice charges that Mueller already investigated and documented. That’s just scissors and paste.
– how the Trump campaign solicited and welcomed the help of Russia in the 2016 election “Russia, if you are listening”) and list the 125 encounters between Trump campaign and Russians.
– witness intimidation and tampering, and incitement to violence, not to mention slander – you only have to pull up the tweets, including the ones that call for Civil War, that say impeachment is akin to a coup, that say the whistleblower should be executed as a spy, and Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff should be prosecuted for treason and Sen. Romney impeached. He has incited numerous instances of violence. ABC News documented 36 instances of violence incited by Trump’s comments, including a Florida man who mailed 15 bombs to Democrats, prominent critics and media figures; a Marine veteran who was stockpiling weapons and compiled hit list of prominent Democrats; and a Utah man who threatened to kill Democratic lawmakers, whom he said were “trying to destroy Trump’s presidency.”
– suborning illegal acts – for example, lying to Congress, shooting migrants, stealing land for his border wall – with the promise of pardons.
– violations of the Presidential Records Act – hiding or destroying records of exchanges with foreign leaders like Putin, Mohammed bin Salman and others (particularly heinous considering his nonending attacks on Hillary Clinton for her emails on a private server).
– violations of the Emoluments Clause – start with how the Defense Department started including a stopover at Trump’s Turnberry Resort in Scotland; the list of foreign dignitaries and lobbyists who curry favor by staying or holding events at Trump International in DC (T-Mobile spent $195,000, just after announcing intention to merge with Sprint); show how Don Jr. and Eric have been trading on the Trump name in India, China, how Ivanka mysteriously won dozens of trademarks in China; how Trump overturned sanctions on the Chinese company, ZTE, after China put up money at a Trump development in Indonesia.

Finally, impeach because Trump is colossally unfit for office – temperamentally, intellectually, morally.

We have been hearing how aides have had to talk him down from doing things that were patently illegal or outrageous – like filling a moat with alligators and snakes, shooting asylum seekers, and completely shutting the southern border “by noon tomorrow”, and opening the floodgates to Turkey’s Dictator Erdogan to massacre the Kurds of northern Syria without any consultation with Defense or State.

And, organizing his foreign and domestic policy around debunked right-wing conspiracy theories. All of which he would do if he is not impeached and believes, in fact, he has the power to do anything.

The reason why impeachment needs to be comprehensive is that Republicans who go as far as to admit it is a bad thing to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections (in fact, it is a crime), say that is not a sufficiently egregious offense to warrant removal from office. Maybe censure, not impeachment. So they can’t twist and ignore the criminal activity, there must be a more comprehensive list of offenses.

This one instance fulfills the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but with Trump, it is a whole pattern If this activity is not what the Founders had in mind in writing impeachment into Constitution, what would?

Impeach Trump now.

TAGGED: impeachment, trump

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Karen Rubin

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