Laurence Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, has written an opinion in the Washington Post arguing that “NOW” is the time to impeach Donald Trump.
In fact, this appeal comes a day before the most recent charges that the President revealed classified information to Russian operatives and ambassadors in his Oval Office, information which may well endanger Americans and certainly threaten the lives of agents working for the United States in dangerous areas of the world populated by those who might wish the U.S. great harm.
“The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice.
The remedy of impeachment was designed to create a last-resort mechanism for preserving our constitutional system. It operates by removing executive-branch officials who have so abused power through what the framers called "high crimes and misdemeanors" that they cannot be trusted to continue in office.
“No American president has ever been removed for such abuses, although Andrew Johnson was impeached and came within a single vote of being convicted by the Senate and removed, and Richard Nixon resigned to avoid that fate.”
An historical review of the questionable business practices of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, The Making of Donald Trump, follows his blemished career as a red-lining apprentice in his father’s real estate ventures in New York, his penchant for seeking adulation even in pretense when calling into media shows as John Barron in order to extoll his own greatness in third person, and his employment of the mob and lawyers like Roy Cohn to expedite deals and problems with immigrant workers razing Bonwitt-Teller during the night.
As we are finding out: anything goes for Donald Trump. As long as it all goes to Donald Trump and his close family.
“Now the country is faced with a president whose conduct strongly suggests that he poses a danger to our system of government.
“Ample reasons existed to worry about this president, and to ponder the extraordinary remedy of impeachment, even before he fired FBI Director James Comey and shockingly admitted on national television that the action was provoked by the FBI's intensifying investigation into his campaign's ties with Russia.
“Even without getting to the bottom of what Trump dismissed as "this Russia thing," impeachable offenses could theoretically have been charged from the outset of this presidency. One important example is Trump's brazen defiance of the foreign emoluments clause, which is designed to prevent foreign powers from pressuring U.S. officials to stray from undivided loyalty to the United States. Political reality made impeachment and removal on that and other grounds seem premature.”
Trump’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution, its checks and balances, the rule of law, deference to respect and the weight of authority flash before us in an hourly display: the announcements by his sons that they have access to money through investors who are “Russian,” his son-in-law’s sister’s willingness to sell visas to those Chinese interested in spending significant sums for various enterprises by the family, or his shady involvement with oligarchs in Russian and other overseas deals requiring borrowing huge sums of money.
“No longer. To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation's fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader.
“Comey's summary firing will not stop the inquiry, yet it represented an obvious effort to interfere with a probe involving national security matters vastly more serious than the "third-rate burglary" that Nixon tried to cover up in Watergate. The question of Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign go to the heart of our system and ability to conduct free and fair elections.
“Consider, too, how Trump embroiled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite Sessions' recusal from involvement in the Russia investigation, in preparing admittedly phony justifications for the firing on which Trump had already decided. Consider how Trump used the vice president and White House staff to propagate a set of blatant untruths — before giving an interview to NBC's Lester Holt that exposed his true motivation.
“Trump accompanied that confession with self-serving — and manifestly false — assertions about having been assured by Comey that Trump himself was not under investigation. By Trump's own account, he asked Comey about his investigative status even as he was conducting the equivalent of a job interview in which Comey sought to retain his position as director.
“Further reporting suggests that the encounter was even more sinister, with Trump insisting that Comey pledge "loyalty" to him in order to retain his job. Publicly saying he saw nothing wrong with demanding such loyalty, the president turned to Twitter with a none-too-subtle threat that Comey would regret any decision to disseminate his version of his conversations with Trump — something that Comey has every right, and indeed a civic duty, to do.”
Thus far, none of the Republican leadership seems willing or even interested in questioning the lack of leadership in the White House and even less the irreparable harm its has and will cause or position in the world’s stage. Now, perhaps with lives at risk, American lives, McConnell and Ryan will do something which reflects their real concern for the country itself, although such action is sadly doubtful.
“It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self- interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president's own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry. It would be a terrible shame if only the mounting prospect of being voted out of office in November 2018 would sufficiently concentrate the minds of representatives and senators today.”
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