An Article of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump

This afternoon I read an article by New York Times writer David Leonhardt, dateline January 28th.  In this article, he enumerates what an article of impeachment against Donald Trump would look like, though he also warns that there is no chance such a process would be successful as long as republicans maintain control of both chambers of Congress.  He has done such a concise and thorough job with his piece that I am taking the liberty of sharing it here today.  The very last line is chilling.

There are good reasons to be wary of impeachment talk. Congressional Republicans show zero interest, and they’re the ones in charge. Democrats, for their part, need to focus on retaking Congress, and railing about impeachment probably won’t help them win votes.

But let’s set aside realpolitik for a few minutes and ask a different question: Is serious consideration of impeachment fair? I think the answer is yes. The evidence is now quite strong that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice. Many legal scholars believe a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime. So the proper remedy for a president credibly accused of obstructing justice is impeachment.

The first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon argued that he had “prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice.” One of the two impeachment articles that the House passed against Bill Clinton used that identical phrase. In both cases, the article then laid out the evidence with a numbered list. Nixon’s version had nine items. Clinton’s had seven. Each list was meant to show that the president had intentionally tried to subvert a federal investigation.

Given last week’s news — that Trump has already tried to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign — it’s time to put together the same sort of list for Trump. Of course, this list is based only on publicly available information. Mueller, no doubt, knows more.

  1. During a dinner at the White House on Jan. 27, 2017, Trump asked for a pledge of “loyalty” from James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, who was overseeing the investigation of the Trump campaign.
  2. On Feb. 14, Trump directed several other officials to leave the Oval Office so he could speak privately with Comey. He then told Comey to “let this go,” referring to the investigation of Michael Flynn, who had resigned the previous day as Trump’s national security adviser.
  3. On March 22, Trump directed several other officials to leave a White House briefing so he could speak privately with Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director. Trump asked them to persuade Comey to back off investigating Flynn.
  4. In March and April, Trump told Comey in phone calls that he wanted Comey to lift the ”cloud” of the investigation.
  5. On May 9, Trump fired Comey as F.B.I. director. On May 10, Trump told Russian officials that the firing had “taken off” the “great pressure” of the Russia investigation. On May 11, he told NBC News that the firing was because of “this Russia thing.”
  6. On May 17, shortly after hearing that the Justice Department had appointed Mueller to take over the Russia investigation, Trump berated Jeff Sessions, the attorney general. The appointment had caused the administration again to lose control over the investigation, and Trump accused Sessions of “disloyalty.”
  7. In June, Trump explored several options to retake control. At one point, he ordered the firing of Mueller, before the White House counsel resisted.
  8. On July 8, aboard Air Force One, Trump helped draft a false public statement for his son, Donald Trump Jr. The statement claimed that a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer was about adoption policy. Trump Jr. later acknowledged that the meeting was to discuss damaging information the Russian government had about Hillary Clinton.
  9. On July 26, in a tweet, Trump called for the firing of Andrew McCabe, the F.B.I.’s deputy director, a potential corroborating witness for Comey’s conversations with Trump. The tweet was part of Trump’s efforts, discussed with White House aides, to discredit F.B.I. officials.
  10. Throughout, Trump (and this quotation comes from the Nixon article of impeachment) “made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States.” Among other things, Trump repeatedly made untruthful statements about American intelligence agencies’ conclusions regarding Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

Obstruction of justice depends on a person’s intent — what legal experts often call “corrupt intent.” This list is so damning because it reveals Trump’s intent.

He has inserted himself into the details of a criminal investigation in ways that previous presidents rarely if ever did. (They left individual investigations to the attorney general.) And he has done so in ways that show he understands he’s doing something wrong. He has cleared the room before trying to influence the investigation. He directed his son to lie, and he himself has lied.

When the framers were debating impeachment at the Constitutional Convention, George Mason asked: “Shall any man be above justice?”

The same question faces us now: Can a president use the power of his office to hold himself above the law? Trump is unlikely to face impeachment anytime soon, or perhaps anytime at all. But it’s time for all of us — voters, members of Congress, Trump’s own staff — to be honest about what he’s done. He has obstructed justice.

He may not be finished doing so, either.

40 thoughts on “An Article of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is beyond chilling … ‘an article by New York Times writer David Leonhardt, dateline January 28th. In this article, he enumerates what an article of impeachment against Drumpf would look like, though he also warns that there is no chance such a process would be successful as long as republicans maintain control of both chambers of Congress.’
    Last line … ‘He has obstructed justice. He may not be finished doing so, either.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You need to be a trained and experienced professional politician to deal with this sort of thing over a sustained period, and even then even some of the most consummate performers have gone under.
    He is only held in place because of his court and his own followers. Trying to make this work in a democracy is a foolhardy event. True he may survive a full term but will have a legacy as the most vilified US president.
    Some gift for an egotist eh?
    That’s the problem with the ‘spiritual facet’ of Life Don-ster by old son, it comes back and bites you in the big fat bottom and does not let go, not unless you resolve to make a great change your self…….Oooohh it’s gone ever so quiet.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Jill,
    There is no doubt in my mind that the president is deserving of impeachment but that is not going to happen unless we win the majority of seats in the US Congress on November 6, 2018.

    Right now he is guilty of slow Saturday Night Massacre. He has managed to fire Mr. Comey, side track James A. Baker into another job, and to harass out of a job, Mr. McCabe and Jim Rybicki.

    I only wish republicans in the House Intel Committee could be impeached or prosecuted as well for being complicit in “obstruction of justice.”

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Bumba, as a citizen of the world and a child of the universe, I have to agree with you. Get rid of him now, before he does anything irreversible. I can ask, I can cajole, I can plead, but I cannot cause him to be impeached. Citizens of the USA, can, and I sincerely hope they do… Soon!

      Liked by 3 people

        • My best to you, Bumba. It is very easy to bitch and complain and do nothing else. Taking a stand, such as going to a demonstration, writing or otherwise contacting the person representing you at any level of government, joining an online community, these can each be a next step towards becoming politically conscious, which is a huge step in becoming politically active. This tells me you care about what is happening in your world, and you want to do something about it. Thank you for caring, and I wish you luck in finding your comfort level as to what you are willing to do, and how much of yourself you will be willing to give. I don’ t know much about you yet, but I am glad to hear your voice added to all the others…

          Liked by 2 people

    • I do not believe in karma, Deb, but I am wondering what retribution you foresee Destiny’s (infant) Terrible getting that could make up for the life he has lived, not just as President of t5he USofA, but for his whole life to this point in time? What woulde be a fitting result? Could there3 be a fitting result?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. This,of course, leads to another question: How is this loneliness to be incurred? This lifetime, or in another incarnation?
          If this lifetime, I don’t think he will notice if he is made to be lonely. He appears to be losing his mind even as we speak. He may never realize how lonely he might become. But, if “karma” waits for his spirit to return to life in another body, that would be a purely vengeful act, unforgivable in my mind. Spirits come to earth to learn, not to be punished for misdeeds in past lives, at least not in my opinion. There is no positive purpose in making a spirit suffer for something a past ego is responsible for.
          This is why I do not believe in karma. Punishment and vengeance are human traits, whatever the old testament might attribute to a human-made god. Humans love to punish others, for almost any reason. I myself am guilty of that, even though I try my best not to want punishment for anyone. But for a god, or karma, or the universe to want to punish a living being, that makes no sense to me. Surely, anyone or anything of superior mental or spiritual consciousness ignores such things, and moves on without looking backward. And this, I think, is what we humans need to do, if ever we are going to evolve into “better” beings. This is what makes sense to me. But it is something we as a species need to choose to do collectively. It is not something I alone can choose to do, because that would make me a god, and I know I am not one of those…
          At least, not in this lifetime…

          Liked by 1 person

            • Oh, I know we can all feel loneliness. Try my post at: https://rawgodsspiritualatheism.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/a-work-of-fiction-remembering-the-lost-and-lonely-on-this-day-of-days/
              if this will get you there.
              Utter loneliness is one horrible feeling.
              Meanwhile, the concept of karma started out as an explanation in ancient Asian countries, particularly the Indian sub-continent areas, to explain why some people experienced lots of suffering in their lives, or hardly any suffering . They already believed in reincarnation, and it kind of followed for them that their past lives affected their present lives. The Sanskrit word for that was karma. It is only since the concept came into the west that karma changed from being about past lives to being within present lives, probably as a result of christian influences that we only have one chance at getting things right.
              In my mind, the one-life theory is untenable, or we would never have evolved spiritually the way we have. I’ve never met “anyone” in my life who could say they lived a “perfect life.”
              Even the “born again” concept of christianity comes from the eastern belief in reincarnation, but the concept was too “unscientific” for Greek and Roman cultures in the times following Christ’s life.
              But I’m not here to try to convince you of anything, I have no desire to change whatever beliefs you or anyone else have.
              Take care. Do your best to change the world. I will do my best alongside you.

              Liked by 2 people

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