Category Archives: Impeachment

Donald Trump’s 10 Impeachable Offenses

Repost from NEED TO IMPEACH
[Editor: For some of us, this will serve as a good SUMMARY of the miserable daily onslaught of the last 2 years’ news reporting.  I learned from a friend the other day that the onslaught has been too much for her – she STOPPED watching the daily news.  If that describes you, this can be a quick and easy catch-up.  For ALL OF US, this is yet another alarm bell and maybe time to contact our elected representatives!  – R.S.]

DONALD TRUMP’S
10 IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES

1   Obstructing Justice

  • After taking office, Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to abandon the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—which the FBI had already connected to Michael Flynn.
  • When Comey refused to alter course, Trump fired him.
  • Trump then admitted the firing was over “the Russia thing” in a televised interview.
  • In a tweet months later, he stated that he “had to fire Michael Flynn because he lied to the FBI”— further affirming that he dismissed James Comey in an attempt to quash the FBI’s investigation.

Bottom line: Trump has repeatedly attempted to interfere in the Russia investigation, and admitted as much—that’s a clear case of obstructing justice.   SEE MORE

2   Violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution

  • The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits the president from accepting personal benefits from any foreign government or official.
  • Trump has retained his ownership interests in his family business while he is in office.
  • Thus, every time a foreign official stays at a Trump hotel, or a foreign government approves a new Trump Organization project, or grants a trademark, Trump is in violation of the Constitution.
    • For example: shortly after he was sworn into office, the Chinese government gave preliminary approval to 38 trademarks of Trump’s name. Then, in June, China approved nine Donald Trump trademarks they had previously rejected.
  • And every time he goes to golf at a Trump property, he funnels taxpayer money into his family business—violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

Bottom line: Because Trump never divested from his business interests, he violates the Constitution every time the Trump Organization has business dealings with foreign or American government officials.

3   Conspiring with Others to Commit Crimes Against the United States, and Attempting to Conceal Those Violations

  • In the middle of the 2016 election, Trump’s son was invited to meet with a Russian national regarding “information that would incriminate Hillary and…would be very useful to” Donald Trump
  • The Russian, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had ties to high-ranking Kremlin officials.
  • Trump Jr. took the meeting. He said, “I love it,” when told Veselnitskaya may have had dirt on Clinton. Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended.
  • Federal law prohibits campaigns from soliciting anything of value from a foreign national.
  • After journalists broke this story, Trump personally dictated a public statement on behalf of his son that lied about the intended purpose of the meeting.
  • This relationship between the Trump team and the Russian national raises questions of whether the campaign aided a hostile foreign power’s active operation against the United States.

Bottom line: Trump tried to cover up his campaign’s contacts with a Russian national—which, at very least, constituted a violation of federal law.

4   Advocating Violence and Undermining Equal Protection Under the Law

  • When Trump gave cover to the neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville and murdered a protester, he violated his obligation to protect the citizenry against domestic violence.
  • When Trump encouraged police officers to rough up people they have under arrest, he violated his obligation to oversee faithful execution of the laws.
  • When Trump shared anti-Muslim content on Twitter, he violated his obligation to uphold equal protection of the laws.
  • This represents a pattern of disregard for some of the president’s basic responsibilities as defined by the Constitution.

Bottom line: Trump has demonstrated a pattern of behavior amounting to advocating violence, undercutting equal protection, and, as a result, failing basic Constitutional duties.

5   Abusing the Pardon Power

  • President Trump’s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio amounted to an abuse of the pardon power that revealed his indifference to individual rights and equal protections.
  • Joe Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court after ignoring a court order that he stop detaining and searching people based on the color of their skin, which constitutes a violation of their rights.
  • Pardoning this conviction goes against the Fifth Amendment, which allows the judiciary to issue and enforce injunctions against government officials who flout individual rights.

Bottom line: Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio violates the Fifth Amendment and harms the guarantee of Constitutional rights.

6   Engaging in Conduct that Grossly Endangers the Peace and Security of the United States

  • High-ranking administration officials involved in foreign affairs have signaled that Trump does not have the capacity to make informed decisions in the event of a military crisis.
  • Even worse, his actions could spark a needless confrontation stemming from misunderstanding or miscalculation.
  • We see this in full effect every time Trump tweets or makes a public statement taunting and threatening the North Korean regime.
  • The president may be the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” but that does not give him the right to behave in reckless or wanton ways that put millions of lives at risk.
  • If he is unfit to perform his duties as Commander in Chief, he cannot be allowed to remain in the position.

Bottom line: Trump cannot be permitted to recklessly and needlessly endanger millions of Americans with his unstable behavior.

7   Directing Law Enforcement to Investigate and Prosecute Political Adversaries for Improper and Unjustifiable Purposes

  • President Trump has repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate and prosecute political adversaries like Hillary Clinton.
  • This is not based in concerns with national security, law enforcement, or any other function of his office—it is an attempted power play, plain and simple.
  • There’s no question that this constitutes an outrageous and inappropriate abuse of executive branch powers and serves as clear grounds for impeachment.

Bottom line: Trump’s threats against political opponents are threats against American democracy.

8   Undermining the Freedom of the Press

  • President Trump has repeatedly attacked the concept of an independent press.
  • He’s called critical coverage “fake news” and journalists “the enemy of the American people,” made threats to change libel laws and revoke licenses, and his battles with CNN led him to try to interfere in the AT&T/Time Warner merger.
  • This demonstrates his unwillingness to respect and uphold the Constitution, and disdain for the crucial foundations to our free society.

Bottom line: Trump’s threats against freedom of the press are also threats against American democracy.
Thanks to Free Speech for People, whose white paper, ‘The Legal Case for a Congressional Investigation on Whether to Impeach President Donald J. Trump,’ served as the basis for this list.

9   Cruelly and Unconstitutionally Imprisoning Children and their Families

Bottom line: Trump’s policy endangers thousands of immigrant children and families, and defies basic Constitutional values.
Thanks to Free Speech for People, ‘New ground for impeachment hearings: cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families,’ served as content for this impeachable offense.

10   Violating Campaign Finance Laws

  • Donald Trump knew disclosure of his extramarital affairs with Stephanie Cliffords (A.K.A. Stormy Daniels) and Karen McDougal could hurt his chances at winning the 2016 election.
  • At the direction of Trump, Michael Cohen and American Media, Inc. (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer bought the rights to the women’s stories and forced them to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements to prevent them from going public.
  • Cohen admitted to making illegal, hush-money payments to hide Trump’s affairs in the fall of 2016, just weeks before the election.
  • Federal prosecutors, and Trump’s co-conspirators Cohen and AMI, all say that Cohen made the payments at Trump’s direction, “in concert with the campaign,” and with the intention of helping Trump win.
  • Trump is unindicted co-conspirator because he directed Cohen to “cause an unlawful corporate contribution” and an “excessive campaign contribution” by paying the two women hush money with the intent to influence the election.

Bottom line: Trump committed at least two felonies to illegally cheat his way into office.

    Billionaire puts Dems on the spot over Trump

    Repost from The San Francisco Chronicle

    Tom Steyer wants Trump impeached, and he’s mad that many Democrats don’t

    By Joe Garofoli, April 8, 2018 Updated: April 9, 2018 9:20am
    Political activist Tom Steyer speaks during the "Need to Impeach" town hall event at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Friday, March 16, 2018, in Cincinnati. Steyer, a billionaire activist also involved in environmental causes, founded the "Need to Impeach" petition campaign on claims that President Donald Trump meets the criteria for impeachment. The event kicks-off a national tour in an effort to generate support. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo: John Minchillo / Associated Press
    Political activist Tom Steyer speaks during the “Need to Impeach” town hall event at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Friday, March 16, 2018, in Cincinnati. Steyer, a billionaire activist also involved in environmental causes, founded the “Need to Impeach” petition campaign on claims that President Donald Trump meets the criteria for impeachment. The event kicks-off a national tour in an effort to generate support. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo: John Minchillo / Associated Press

    Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is bringing a nationwide town hall tour promoting President Trump’s impeachment to Oakland, but he’s got more in mind than leading a pep rally for Bay Area liberals. He intends to shame Democrats who aren’t cheering along with him.

    “I think there’s a question about what people are willing to say in public that they know is true,” said Steyer, a former San Francisco hedge fund manager who commands attention in left-leaning circles for the tens of millions he’s spent on registering voters and backing Democratic candidates.

    Many Democrats aren’t calling to impeach Trump, Steyer said, “because of political posturing before the midterms.”

    Steyer’s appearance Wednesday highlights a stark divide among the most liberal Democrats: Is removing Trump from office “the most important issue in America right now,” as Steyer insists, or is it premature to move before they have what Dublin Rep. Eric Swalwell calls “an impenetrable set of facts”?

    Some Democrats fear losing the moral and political high ground by backing impeachment before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into any Trump campaign ties to Russian election meddling is complete.

    It will be impossible to win Republican support for impeachment in the GOP-controlled Congress unless Mueller finds evidence of criminal conduct by Trump himself, Democratic leaders say. Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House, and conviction and removal from office takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

    “I don’t think it’s helpful for anyone to be pushing impeachment before the investigation is finished,” Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast earlier this year. While there is a legal standard for impeachment, he said, there “also a political standard. Can you make the case for impeachment in districts around the country?

    “That case will be more difficult to make if it looks like this is where we wanted to go all along,” Schiff said.

    Last fall, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco called Steyer’s impeachment campaign a distraction from the party’s efforts to retake the House. She declined last week to talk about Steyer’s town hall tour.

    To Steyer, it’s an outrage that in an area with one of the nation’s highest concentrations of Democratic voters, six House members — Pelosi, Swalwell and Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier, Ro Khanna, Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren — voted against an impeachment resolution in January.

    They weren’t alone — only 66 House Democrats supported the resolution. Among them were Bay Area Reps. Barbara Lee, Mark DeSaulnier, Mike Thompson and John Garamendi.

    Steyer hoped for better. Nationally, more than 5.1 million people have signed his NeedtoImpeach.com petition since October, and he’s put seven pro-impeachment commercials on national TV.

    Now, through his 30-stop national tour, Steyer wants to generate public pressure to get Congress to join him, starting with key Democrats near his home.

    James Strickley of Erlanger, Ky., asks a question of political activist Tom Steyer during a “Need to Impeach” town hall last month in Cincinnati. Photo: John Minchillo / Associated Press
    Photo: John Minchillo / Associated Press James Strickley of Erlanger, Ky., asks a question of political activist Tom Steyer during a “Need to Impeach” town hall last month in Cincinnati. Photo: John Minchillo / Associated Press

    He retains a big megaphone in Democratic circles because of the $91 million he spent on left-leaning causes and candidates in the 2016 campaign cycle and the $30 million he pledged to spend on registering 250,000 voters this year.

    “Those who condemn Trump but do nothing to back their words with action are enabling the damage he is inflicting,” Steyer said. “Local Bay Area Congress members have repeatedly chosen to ignore their constituents’ voices by voting no on impeachment. The people deserve elected leaders who refuse to back down on our shared principles, and we will ensure their voices are heard.”

    Steyer isn’t promising to fund primary challenges to anti-impeachment Democrats. Instead, he envisions his town hall meetings as a “two-way conversation” where he can build public pressure against those who oppose impeachment. He’ll hold his Oakland event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Impact Hub on Broadway.

    Steyer’s target list includes Swalwell, who has shown up regularly on cable talk shows over the past year excoriating Trump for everything from his tax plan to his foreign policy. Swalwell’s House website is filled with charts and videos explaining how “Trump and his team are directly and indirectly tied to Russia.”

    But impeachment? Not yet, Swalwell said.

    “We shouldn’t run or make this midterm election a referendum on impeachment,” he said. “I think the country wants to be assured that if you were to proceed that way, you would have an impenetrable set of facts to prove that it should happen. And right now we don’t have investigations that allow us to do that.

    “I don’t think we should be as reckless with the truth as Trump has been,” he said.

    Speier, D-Hillsborough, sides with Swalwell. She has been one of Trump’s most vocal critics in Congress, calling for him to be removed from office under the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and two-thirds of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit. She said Trump has shown “erratic behavior and lack of mental capacity.”

    But she is not ready to back impeachment yet, either.

    “I’m not saying it won’t be appropriate,” Speier said. “But I do not believe that we have the appropriate evidence yet that will make a compelling case. Impeachment is a political act. It’s got to be extraordinarily compelling to get Republicans to support it.”

    Steyer counters, “We don’t need any more evidence. The evidence is already there.”

    Trump could be impeached for several reasons, Steyer said, including obstruction of justice and violating constitutional bans on profiting from holding his office.

    Every day, he said, Trump “does something to make you upchuck.”

    Khanna, D-Fremont, said he respects Steyer’s efforts to energize Democratic voters, “but we have different roles. He is a citizen activist and leader. I am a member of Congress who took an oath to the Constitution and (to) follow the legal process that is foundational to our democracy.”

    It’s hard to ignore that Steyer’s town hall tour includes three stops in Iowa — the first caucus state on the presidential campaign trail — and other events in swing states Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina. But he said the impeachment tour is aimed at registering voters for this year’s elections, not testing his presidential prospects.

    “We are really, really, really focused on what’s going on in 2018,” Steyer said. “Anyone who is looking beyond (election day in November) is missing the point.”

      Trump uses slurs against poor, non-white nations – time for impeachment

      Trump uses slurs against poor, non-white nations

      By Roger Straw, January 12, 2018
      Editorial Comment

      President Trump has repeatedly used crude language and now has used unacceptable trash talk to describe the nations of Haiti and El Salvador, and “Africans.”  His language betrays him and exposes a heart and mind that is ignorant, bigoted and racist.

      Here in a small town on the west coast, we may think that our voices are insignificant in the wider picture of U.S. policy and politics.  But, as Chris Carson, President of the League of Women Voters put it, “We can and we must do better to be vigilant about speaking out against racism. We must stand up as a nation and say this is unacceptable.”

      My outrage and passion tempt me to make vile comments about our President.  But like the Obamas, and as a person of faith, I will try to take a higher road.

      Every single one of us must speak up to confront the ugly head of racism when it surfaces, whether in a school or grocery store or bar in Benicia or in a magnificent meeting room in a white house in Washington, D.C.

      When will it be time for American legislators to begin serious conversations about impeachment?

      Roger Straw
      Benicia, California, USA