Saturday, August 24, 2019

Why Donald Trump Is a Threat to Our Democracy and Unfit to be President of the United States of America by Glen Brown


“...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...”

To the reader: I have chosen an interrogative method to stress the seriousness of this situation, and so that you can draw your own conclusions. This article has been updated and revised since August 24th.

Donald Trump "Poses a Clear Danger of Grave Harm to the Constitutional Order [and Our Democratic System and Values]" (High Crimes: Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power, and Obstruction of Congress):

When are we going to rebel against a bully who constantly attempted to obstruct the Justice Department's criminal investigation into Russian interference in the last presidential election; a bully who, according to the Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice Robert Mueller, made "public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation"; a bully who, while referring to the FBI's investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, said to FBI Director James Comey: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go"; a bully who tried to have his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions remove Mueller from investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and cover up his own obstruction of justice; a bully who "dictated a message for [former campaign manager] Corey Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions... that should publicly announce [Sessions'] recusal from the Russia investigation, that the investigation was 'very unfair' to the president, and that the president had done nothing wrong"; a bully who expressed anger at Jeff Sessions' recusal and told advisers that "he should have an Attorney General who would protect him"; a bully who "reacted to news that a Special Counsel [Mueller] had been appointed by telling advisers that it was 'the end of his presidency' and demanded that Sessions resign"; a bully who "reached out to the Director of National Intelligence and the leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) to ask them what they could do to publicly dispel the suggestion that [he] had any connection to the Russian election-interference effort"; a bully who "insisted that Comey's termination letter, which was written for public release, state that Comey had informed him that he was not under investigation"; a bully who "the day after firing Comey told Russian officials that he had 'faced great pressure because of Russia'"; a bully who "edited a press statement for Trump Jr. by deleting a line that acknowledged that his meeting [with a Russian lawyer] was with 'an individual who [Trump Jr.] was told might have information helpful to the campaign and instead said only that the meeting was about adoptions of Russian children"; a bully who "directed White House officials to tell [former White House Counsel] Don McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the Special Counsel removed"; a bully who "praised [former campaign chairman and convicted felon] Paul Manafort in public and said that Manafort was being treated unfairly, and declined to rule out a pardon. After Manafort was convicted, he called Manafort 'a brave man' for refusing to 'break' and said that 'flipping almost ought to be outlawed'"; a bully who "publicly asserted that [his former personal counsel and vice-president of the Trump organization (and convicted felon)] Michael Cohen would not 'flip'; a bully who contacted his [co-conspirator] directly to tell him to 'stay strong' and privately passed messages of support to stay on message, and he would be taken care of"; a bully who wants us to believe the Russian investigation was an attack on the legitimacy of his election and just "a witch hunt," despite 34 indictments, seven guilty pleas, and five imprisonments as a result of Mueller's investigation; a bully who pressured Australia to help his current Attorney General William Barr investigate the origins of the Mueller probe; a bully who would have been indicted if he weren't a sitting president?  

When are we going to rebel against a bully who called on Russia's interference with his election: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press"; a bully who believes Vladimir Putin instead of the 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies; a bully who, on the world stage in Helsinki, stated fawningly: "I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today"; a bully who confiscated the interpreter's notes at his private meeting with Putin at the Group 20 Summit in Hamburg and would not share them with his senior administration officials; a bully who has met privately with Putin five times and has had 11 private telephone conversations, all of which were never made available for his senior administration officials to review; a bully who shortly after firing James Comey told two Russian officials visiting the White House that he wasn't concerned about election interference because "America does the same thing"; an ignorant bully who also disclosed highly-classified information to these Russian officials, thus, "creating political and security concerns in the U.S., its allies and especially in Israel"? 

When are we going to rebel against a bully who threatens our free press and calls the news media "the enemy of the American people"; a bully who "ignores and discounts any information from the mainstream media, thus, empowering the worst reckless voices on the right"; a bully who threatens "free and fair elections, individual rights, independent courts, and the Rule of law"; a bully who has defied and ordered his minions to ignore every subpoena issued from the House of Representatives in an effort to subvert the U.S. government investigationa bully who undermines the Separation of Powers; a bully who "threatened critics with prosecution and lawsuits, disdaining the notion of the First Amendment's speech and press protections"; a bully who "demands that federal prosecutors target his political opponents"; a bully who "denounced his own Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation as 'the deep state'"; a bully who, with the complicity and cowardice of the Republican Party, has failed to protect the U.S. Constitution and our democracy; a bully who used the office of presidency for bribing and extorting a foreign country; more specifically, a bully who called for President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son and withheld $391 million of taxpayer funds for Ukraine's security and defense against Russian aggression; a bully who called for China to investigate the Bidens; a bully who believes in a discredited Russian theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and not Russia; a bully who, along with some of his Republican lackeys such as Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mike Pompeo, William Barr, Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, Ron Johnson, Mark Meadows, John Neely Kennedy, Matt Gaetz, Doug Collins, Steve Scalise, Kevin McCarthy, and Madeleine Westerhout, et al., has disseminated political falsehoods and unfounded conspiracy theories; a bully who insulted, intimidated and threatened the consummate ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, while praising and endorsing the former corrupt Ukrainian General Prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, a man who had made false allegations against her; in short, a bully who has abused the formal powers of the presidency for personal advantage by soliciting foreign interference for the 2020 election through bribery ("Do us a favor though") and, thus, lost the confidence of the majority of Americans, corrupted the U.S. electoral process of a free election, threatened our national security, betrayed our national interest, perverted the powers of the presidency, obstructed justice in a cover up, obstructed the U.S. House of Representatives, and blatantly harassed a whistleblower and a witness during the impeachment hearings; a bully who, with Mitch McConnell and his admission that "there's no chance the president will be removed from office" in the Senate impeachment trial, will create a irreparable travesty of justice and defilement of the U.S. Constitution?

When are we going to rebel against the Trump administration and some members of the Republican Party for their blatant hypocrisy, corruption, anti-Rule of Law, and "spectacle and hyperbole," especially Devon Nunes, Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik, John Ratcliffe, Mike Conaway, Chris Stewart, Michael Turner, Will Hurd, and Brad Wenstrup for their incendiary attempts to sabotage the testimonies of Bill Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; George Kent, U.S. State Department Official; Marie Yovanovitch, the fired U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Director for European Affairs for the U.S. National Security Council; Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine; Timothy Morrison, U.S. Adviser on the National Security Council; Jennifer Williams, U.S. Adviser for Vice-President Pence; Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union; Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs; David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; David Holmes, U.S. Diplomat to the Ukraine Embassy; Fiona Hill, former U.S. National Security Council Specialist?

When are we going to rebel against a bully who has not "faithfully executed the Office of President of the United States" and has not "preserved, protected, and defended the Constitution of the United States"; a bully who calls the impeachment inquiry "a hoax" and believes he is "above the law"; a bully who is contemptuous and ignorant of the Constitution of the United States of America, specifically the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments; a bully who also violates Article II, Section 1 and Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States; a bully who ignores the legislative and judicial branches of government and their Balance of Power; a bully and some members of the Republican Party who constantly attack the U.S. Intelligence Agencies and the Rule of Law by using techniques of deflection; a bully who committed criminal violations of campaign-finance laws; a bully who refuses to divest himself from his business interests; a bully who has violated the Emoluments Clause (Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution) by receiving compensation from foreign leaders and diplomats that stay at Trump hotels and Mar-a-Lago (note: he also doubled the membership fee to $200,000 after becoming president); a bully who "undermines the wall of separation between his family business and the U.S. government"; a bully who "has repeatedly visited and promoted Trump-branded restaurants, hotels, and golf clubs"; a bully who "undeservedly elevated his own children to prominent public positions" in a brazen act of nepotistic corruption; a bully who, "while dining on taxpayers' money at Mar-a-Lago with President Xi Jinping of China," was able to get Ivanka Trump "three trademarks for her jewelry, handbags, and spa brands" as a gift from the Chinese government; a bully who has "the Secret Service, cabinet members, and other federal employees pay for their rooms, meals, golf carts, and drinks"; a bully and vulgarian who uses the office of presidency for self-aggrandizing and for monetizing his family and himself? 

When are we going to rebel against a bully who poisons the English language, hides or ignores the facts, withholds incriminating evidence, destroys government records, and promulgates contradictory stories in an Orwellian nightmare; a bully who "creates and capitalizes on chaos"; a bully who "has ostentatiously refused to fulfill one of his most important duties as president: protecting the nation and its political system from damaging cyber attacks by a hostile foreign power"; a bully who has heightened polarization and partisanship; a bully who makes his underlings lie for him; a bully who "has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing" they commit for him; a bully who pardoned the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, a man who "had perpetrated a campaign of terror and atrocities against vulnerable Hispanics within his jurisdiction": an undermining of the rule of law and "a gross abuse of presidential authority"; a bully who pardoned a U.S. military service member of committing war crimes, thus, abusing his pardoning power and undermining military justice; a bully who has no integrity and perpetuates lies through "distraction, threat conflation, normalization and repetition... to confuse and mislead the public"; a bully who "lies constantly, surrounds himself with liars. and exults in bullshit"; a bully who has blocked administrative officials from testifying under the guise of presidential immunity, thus, thwarting the House of Representatives' impeachment investigations in a blatant subversion of constitutional government; a bully who does not believe in morality and justice and will do everything in his power to remain in office; a bully who is, and who will continue to be, "a serial abuser of discretionary powers"; a bully who, like Richard Nixon, "prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice [by engaging] personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation"; a bully who said, "I have the right to do whatever I want"? Most recently: we have a bully who had Soleimani murdered in violation of the U.N. Charter and in violation of the War Powers Resolution: a bully who did not consider the consequences of his rash decision. 

Donald Trump Is Unfit to be President of the United States of America (Misdemeanors):

When are we going to rebel against a bully who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and other white extremists and populists; a bully who has empowered fascists and white nationalists; a bully who quotes from the Neo-Nazi Daily Stormer and Breitbart; a bully who believes he is “the chosen one”; a bully who believes he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize; a bully who appointed Wall Street bankers, industry insiders and special-interest lobbyists to plunder this country’s resources and money while many members of the Republican Party are complicit and his supporters are oblivious; a bully who expected and received obsequious praise from each sycophantic member of his newly-appointed cabinet at their first meeting; a bully who wondered why the U.S. can't use nuclear weapons; a bully who pushed aside the prime minister of Montenegro and then puffed out his chest at the first NATO summit; a bully who succumbs to flattery from foreign governments such as North Korea and Russia; a bully who refuses to release his income taxes and would be protected by the U.S. Supreme Court as a result of the machinations of Mitch McConnell and himself? 

When are we going to rebel against a bully who falsely accused Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower; a bully who perpetuated the birther movement; a bully who withdrew the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council; a bully who has enriched the super-rich at the expense of the working people; a bully who has rolled back protections for workers and consumers to benefit corporate interests and donors; a bully who defrauded people who worked for him; a bully whose so-called Trump University resulted in a $25 million fraudulent settlement; a bully who used the assets of his own charitable foundation for himself; a bully who was fined $2 million for defrauding eight charities; a bully who has "faked accounting records, filed at least two fraudulent income tax returns, and made false claims to escape property tax bills"; a bully who wants to take healthcare away from millions of people; a bully who appointed two of the worst unethical healthcare officials in Tom Price and Alex Azar; a bully who chose Betsy Devos, an heiress with no education theory or administration, to head the Department of Education; a bully who raised the Affordable Care Act premiums for millions of people and allowed employers to deny contraception coverage for their employees; a bully who stopped funding teen pregnancy prevention programs; a bully who cut enrollments to Medicaid; a bully who boasted that his 40 Wall Street tower was the tallest building in New York shortly after the Twin Towers collapsed; a bully who appointed a supreme court justice who was accused of sexual assault; a bully who mocked the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and later said in an interview that "It doesn't matter [because] we won"?

When are we going to rebel against a bully who helped the Saudis cover-up a murder of an American journalist; a bully who disparaged Gold-Star parents; a bully who attacked John McCain for being captured and stated: "I like people who weren't captured"; a bully who attacked the deceased Representative John Dingell by implying he's "looking up" from hell; a bully who fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe one day before retirement so he would not be eligible for the pension he had earned; a bully who uses the office of the president to attack and insult people: "You can see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever," or "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?"; a bully who attacked and didn't trust a judge because of his Mexican descent; a bully who called immigrant Mexicans "rapists" that "bring drugs and crimes"; a bully who encouraged his supporters to assault protesters at his rallies; a bully who proposed banning Muslims from entering this country and killing the families of terrorists or suspected terrorists; a bully who said there were "very nice people on both sides" in the fascist march at Charlottesville; a bully who endorsed an alleged pedophile in an Alabama senate race; a bully who makes sexist remarks about women, mocks people's appearance, their ethnic background or physical handicap; a bully who bragged about his genitalia and grabbing women's genitals: "You can grab 'em by the pussy"; a bully who said in an interview: "I moved on her actually. She was down in Palm Beach, and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try to fuck her
She was married... and I moved on her very heavily"; a bully who bragged about seeing beauty pageant contestants half-naked; a bully who paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their affair?

When are we going to rebel against a bully who ended funding for NASA's Carbon Monitoring System; a bully who denies the reality of climate change, lifts restrictions on fossil fuel production, and dismantles environmental regulations; a bully who appointed Andrew Wheeler, a former coal-industry lobbyist, to head the EPA and disband a group of 20 scientists charged with reviewing the nation's air quality standards; a bully who is responsible for the largest reduction of protected lands in the U.S.; a bully who cut off funding for the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee; a bully who eliminated the Human Service Department's Presidential Advisory Council on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria; a bully who made it easier for the mentally-ill to obtain weapons; a bully who claimed credit for the lack of commercial airplane crashes in 2017; a bully who creates aliases to perpetrate false stories about his net worth, his self-proclaimed brilliance, and his sexual exploitation; a bully who attacked four congresswomen of color with volatile racist tweets: "Go back to the countries you came from"; a bully who enviously attacked 16 year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg after she became Time Magazine's Person of the Year; a bully who wants to "imprison political opponents and critics"; a bully who "supports armed extremists and private militias"; 
a bully who extols Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Rodrigo Duterte, Jair Bolsonaro, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and other despots but attacks American allies and their leaders? 

When are we going to rebel against a bully who exacerbates and promotes hatred and violence toward Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans and degrades veterans, women, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and the disabled via his executive orders, ill-conceived twitter policy making, and nomination of a supreme court justice; a bully who shows an obsessive focus on himself instead of showing empathy in times of crisis; a bully who ignored the deaths of thousands of people in Puerto Rico; a bully who gleefully tossed paper towels into a crowd of victims after Hurricane Maria; a bully who said he wanted "to shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down" and to fortify barriers along the Mexican border by building a reptile-filled moat; a bully and gaslighter who manufactures crises, such as tariffs on Mexico, and then proclaims he alone has solved the calamity; a bully whose policy has taken children from their parents and placed them in metal cages; a bumbling idiot whose dangerous ignorance and prevarication will endanger all Americans during the COVID-19 Pandemic

When are we going to rebel against his autocratic abuse of presidential power, his constitutional ignorance, his obstruction of justice and concealment, his lawless demagoguery, his pathological narcissism, his grandiose delusions, his anti-social personality disorder, his malignant arrogance, his moral relativism, his white nationalism, his perfidious nationalism, his hateful racism, his infectious nihilism, his outrageous iconoclasm, his ruthless competition, his puerile dereliction, his embarrassing idiocy, his provocative transgressions, his mocking disrespect, his impetuous vulgarity, his sexual predation; his belligerent intimidation, his incessant lying, his conspiratorial gaslighting, his obsessive vindictiveness, his hypocritical cowardice, his compulsive xenophobia, his callous misogyny, his insufferable bigotry, his disgusting buffoonery, his histrionic rallying, his dangerous idiocy, his sociopathic bullying and seditious behavior…?   

Consider the aggregate of aforementioned facts and their significant implications that I have presented to you. Though some of these facts make us think about obstruction of justice, bribery, abuse of power, betrayal of public trust, and corruption of the office of presidency and our electoral system, many of these facts also make us think about our moral values, principles, and morally-objectionable behaviors. Some of us might argue whether any of these facts are related to moral values and fundamental truths. I believe they are interconnected. Our ability to make moral judgments and commitments—our moral sentiments—both express and incite emotion and reason. Our moral sentiments prescribe, persuade, and command us to do what we believe, and feel, is right. What is right is what complies with our moral duty and supererogation. Because most of us live as social, rational human beings, we have implicitly consented to moral and social contracts that have been devised. It is because we understand why moral precepts are beneficial for all of us; that we have the Rule of Law, established in the U.S. Constitution; that we have a shared set of moral and legal expectations for our conduct that makes it imperative to appeal to a public sense of justice regardless of political party affiliation. It is by virtue of our moral and constitutional obligations, "and not upon the niceties of a narrow [criminal] jurisprudence but upon the enlarged and solid principles of morality," that Donald Trump must be removed from the highest and most respected office in America. 

-Glen Brown

Postscript:

What I believe about the Republican Senate: they will continue the efforts of the Republican House by sabotaging the impeachment process, by not allowing or discrediting witnesses, by employing hyperbolic histrionics, and by confusing the facts and the American people; they will continue to polarize politics through hyper-partisanship, unprincipled partiality, and political stagnation; they will refuse to legitimize the preponderance of evidence before them because of their confirmation bias and their fear of losing Trump's supporters; they will continue their unwavering allegiance to their extensive tribalism, their powerful interests, their dark money, their party caucus, and Trump's base so they are guaranteed campaign funds, committee assignments, and reelection; they will continue their irreparable damage to the constitutional system, democratic institutions, and separation of powers. They will fail to impeach Trump, thus, "leaving the country with a corrupt tyrant and his angry, vengeful supporters." It will be up to the rest of us to preserve our slowly-dying democracy.

"When our democracy is threatened from within, we must save it ourselves... Transcending forces of decay, disinformation, and disunion will not be easy. This is the great national calling of our time: the North Star that must guide decisions about ending or enduring disastrous presidencies. There is no quick fix for the challenges we face. They are surmountable only if each of us resolves anew that America and democracy are well worth fighting for" -Laurence Tribe.

"It doesn't matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the Framers were. It doesn't matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. It doesn't matter how well written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost" -Adam Schiff.

Nonetheless, Trump's dangerous ignorance and malignant narcissism will most certainly be ignored by Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican senators and their defense team of Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Ken Starr, Robert Ray, Pam Bondi, Patrick Philbin, Mike Purpura, Jane Raskin, Alan Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani. To repeat, "they are surmountable only if each of us resolves anew that America and democracy are well worth fighting for" -Laurence Tribe.

PPS:

When people ask, what crime did Trump commit, they are ignorant of these facts about impeachment: “The very essence of impeachment is political rather than criminal… Politicians rather than judges hold the impeachment power… Instead, it serves only to remove political authority from ‘him who would make a bad use of it’” (Tribe, 13). “Impeachment doesn’t require proof of a crime… Impeachment and criminal punishment are distinct… (44) The argument that only criminal offenses are impeachable is deeply and profoundly wrong. It misunderstands the Constitution, U.S. history, and the nature of criminal law in important ways… The wrongness of this claim offends us as scholars and troubles us as citizens. A relentless focus on criminality distorts public dialogue about impeachment. It also sabotages productive discussion about improper (though noncriminal) uses of presidential power…” (45).

When a president abuses “the formal powers” of the office of the presidency to secure an election, it is our constitutional system that will not allow him to corrupt our democracy. In the case of Trump, who is a “serial abuser of power,” allowing him to “remain in office poses a clear danger of grave harm to the constitutional order” (23) and to our national security. “The corrupt exercise of power in exchange for a personal benefit defines impeachable bribery” (33); moreover, Trump’s myriad attempts to impede justice proves impeachable obstruction. “If Congress errs here, the American people must live forever with the consequences” (28).

We only have to ask the Republicans who defend Trump: would they have impeached Obama if he had done what Trump has done? 

Tribe, Laurence H. and Joshua Matz. To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. New York: Basic Books, 2018.


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Thiessen, Mark. “The Ten Worst Things Trump Did in 2018.” The Washington Post. 2 January 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-10-worst-things-trump-did-in-2018/2019/01/02/f4025456-0eb0-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html

Tribe, Laurence H. American Constitutional Law, Second Edition. New York: The Foundation Press, Inc., 1988: pgs. 289-296.

Tribe, Laurence H. “Donald Trump Will Violate the U.S. Constitution on Inauguration Day.” The Guardian. 19 December 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/19/donald-trump-violate-us-constitution-inauguration-day

Tribe, Laurence H. and Joshua Matz. To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. New York: Basic Books, 2018.  


ADDENDUM: JANUARY 25, 2021

ARTICLE 1: INCITEMENT OF INSURRECTION

The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment, for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States from “hold[ing] an office ... under the United States.’ In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:

On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.

President Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.

In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.



13 comments:

  1. Glen, thank you for putting into words so many of us are thinking throughout the day. The way things are going under President Trump and the Trump Republican Party many of us wonder if our democratic society will still be around 25-50 years from now It is obvious that he along with so many of our politicians are putting their own self-interests and the interests of corporations and the very wealthy above the interests of the country and Main Street Americans

    Thanks again for sharing with us your well thought out views of issues facing us in our every day lives

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  2. "It’s easy to understand why a majority of House Democrats have finally gone on record to call for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald J. Trump. Not only has he committed the requisite 'high crimes and misdemeanors' to trigger such an inquiry, but an argument can be made that he’s the most corrupt and treacherous commander in chief in modern American history. The stage is set for Congress to act, regardless of how the Senate responds.

    "Bearing in mind impeachable offenses do not have to be crimes in the formal sense and they may include behavior prior to the target assuming office, Trump’s offenses include but are by no means limited to:

    "Committing campaign finance violations by paying hush money to two women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels;
    Obstructing justice in connection with the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller;
    Defying congressional subpoenas;
    Using the presidency for personal economic gain;
    Abusing the pardon power to reward political allies;
    Attacking the press and the judiciary;
    Threatening to prosecute political opponents;
    Abusing emergency powers to build his border wall;
    Incarcerating undocumented immigrant children in concentration camps;
    Attempting to strip millions of Americans of health insurance;
    Promoting tax reform to benefit the super-rich;
    Gutting environmental regulations and pulling out of the Paris climate accord;
    Refusing to enforce the Voting Rights Act; and
    Curbing the use of federal consent decrees to counter police misconduct.
    The bill of particulars that can be drafted against Trump is practically limitless. But beyond the specifics, there is a more fundamental reason to insist on impeachment: Trump is a racist and a fascist.

    "Anyone who doubts that Trump is a racist either is extraordinarily gullible, isn’t paying attention, doesn’t care, or worse, is a racist himself or herself..." (Bill Blum).

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  3. "Trump has been a practicing white supremacist his entire adult life. In the early 1970s, he and his father were successfully sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to non-whites. In 1989, Trump took out full-page ads in major New York City newspapers urging the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers, the 'Central Park Five,' falsely accused of raping a white woman. To this day, he refuses to acknowledge the five teens were innocent, as confirmed by DNA testing.

    "During the previous administration, Trump was a prime architect of the 'birther' conspiracy, alleging that President Obama was born in Kenya. In December 2015, he called for a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.' As president, he implemented a more targeted version of the travel ban, initially directed against seven Muslim-majority nations and later revised following several adverse federal rulings. The modified ban was subsequently upheld in a shameless abdication of judicial independence by the Republican-dominated Supreme Court.

    "Last month, Trump tweeted that four minority Democratic congresswomen—the so-called 'Squad' consisting of Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—should 'go back' to the 'totally broken and crime-infested' countries they came from. All four are U.S. citizens; only Omar was born abroad.

    "In response to Trump’s tweet, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a celebrated veteran of the civil rights movement, said, 'I know racism when I see it, I know racism when I feel it, and at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism.'

    "To its credit, the House has since passed a resolution condemning Trump’s posts as racist. But the resolution is non-binding, and it is by no means sufficient.

    "Intercept reporter Shaun King argued in a recent column that racism should be considered an impeachable offense. Both the history of impeachment and the gravity of racism as an affront to the nation support King’s assertions.

    "As political science professor Peter Irons, the author of 'A People’s History of the Supreme Court,' observed in an NBC.com column last week, President Andrew Johnson was impeached at the mid-point of his first and only term precisely because of his racism—specifically his opposition to post-Civil War Reconstruction programs.

    "Like Trump today, Johnson’s rhetoric and policies brought the 'high office of the president of the United States into contempt, ridicule and disgrace.' And while Johnson avoided conviction and removal from office by a single vote in the Senate, Irons noted that impeachment left Johnson 'crippled and ineffective in his two remaining years in office.'

    "Fascism, too, should be considered impeachable. And lest there be any confusion, Trump is not simply a product or 'symptom' of late capitalism in decline, as even some on the left have argued. Trump represents a political disease that is spreading like an antibiotic-resistant super bug across the globe.

    "By any standard definition, Trump is a fascist. Trumpism, along with its international analogs, aspires to impose 'the open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialistic elements of finance capital,' long decried by Marxist thinkers..." (Bill Blum).

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Trumpism also fits the definition of fascism offered by Robert Paxton in his classic study, 'The Anatomy of Fascism':

    "Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

    "Still unconvinced? Consider, as I’ve written before in this column, Umberto Eco’s list of the 14 common factors of fascism:

    "A cult of traditionalism.
    The rejection of modernism.
    A cult of action for its own sake and a distrust of intellectualism.
    The view that disagreement or opposition is treasonous.
    A fear of difference. Fascism is racist by definition.
    An appeal to a frustrated middle class that is suffering from an economic crisis and feelings of humiliation and fear of the pressure exerted by lower social groups.
    An obsession with the plots and machinations of the movement’s identified enemies.
    A requirement that the movement’s enemies be simultaneously seen as omnipotent and weak, conniving and cowardly.
    A rejection of pacifism.
    Contempt for weakness.
    A cult of heroism.
    Hypermasculinity and homophobia.
    A selective populism, relying on chauvinist definitions of 'the people' that the movement claims to represent.
    Heavy usage of 'newspeak' and an impoverished discourse of elementary syntax and resistance to complex and critical reasoning.

    "Many if not all of these points will sound familiar and with good reason: Our president is a fascist, and fascists do not belong in the White House..." (Bill Blum, Common Dreams, August 7, 2019).

    ReplyDelete
  5. “...At the summit, Trump aggressively lobbied for Russia to be readmitted into the G7, refused to hold it accountable for violating international law, blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia's annexation of Crimea, and expressed sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “One former senior Justice Department official, who worked closely with the former special counsel Robert Mueller when he was the FBI director, told Insider Trump's behavior was ‘directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office.’

    “A former CIA operative told Insider the evidence is ‘overwhelming’ that Trump is a Russian agent, but another CIA and NSA veteran said it was more likely Trump was currying favor with Putin for future business deals.

    “Meanwhile, a recently retired FBI special agent told Insider that Trump's freewheeling and often unfounded statements make it more likely that he's a ‘useful idiot’ for the Russians. But ‘it would not surprise me in the least if the Russians had at least one asset in Trump's inner circle.’...” (Business Insider).

    ReplyDelete
  6. “…The detention camps weren’t enough. The policy of deliberate child torture was insufficient. The neglect of Americans displaced by natural disasters didn’t pass muster. The hush money shelled out to the president’s former mistresses in violation of federal law was too small a crime. The president using his office to enrich himself wasn’t sufficient. Deflecting blame from a foreign government’s effort to elect the president while seeking financial gain from that government, and then attempting to obstruct the investigation, was deemed too complicated to pursue.

    “But when the president attempted to use his authority to extort a foreign leader into implicating one of his political rivals, a former vice president and longtime Democratic senator, in criminal activity, the leadership of the Democratic Party seemed to suddenly recognize what it was facing. Millions of Americans wake up every day worried that Donald Trump’s actions will hurt someone they love, but until he used his authority to go after someone beloved by the Democratic establishment, party leaders didn’t quite grasp the urgency. If Trump could do this to Joe Biden, after all, he could do it to any of them. That’s often how it works in a democracy: People do the right thing for self-interested reasons.

    “In fairness to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the events that moved her to support impeachment after months of dismissing the left wing of her caucus are exactly what the Framers had in mind when they crafted the impeachment clause, which was to prevent a corrupt chief executive from using his official powers to keep himself in office. That precisely describes Trump’s use of his official powers to strong-arm a foreign government into implicating his political rivals. The Framers forced the chief executive to face election every four years in order to prevent the president from becoming a king, but they recognized that a corrupt president might use his powers to keep himself in office in perpetuity, and that impeachment was needed as a last resort. Yet Trump is only the most vulgar expression of the anti-democratic streak spreading in the Republican Party, and the forces that propelled his candidacy are the same ones that may shield him from accountability…” (The Atlantic. “Why Republicans Aren't Turning on Trump: The Framers underestimated the extent to which a demagogue might convince his supporters that the president and the people are one and the same.” September 26, 2019).

    ReplyDelete
  7. When are we going to rebel against the oligarchy? We already have witnessed a takeover of the radical Republican Party; the undermining of democracy; the evisceration of campaign finance law; the weakening of U.S. labor unions; right-to-work laws to keep workers powerless; the shutting down of the federal government; the denial of climate change from the executive and legislative branches of government; ALEC-backed legislators who created bills to restrict minority voting and to manipulate the boundaries of their electoral constituency; the closing of nearly 1700 voting precincts, of which many of them are in Black and Latino communities; the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act; the scapegoating of teachers and the attacks on retirees’ and public employees’ pensions; the deprivation of university and college adjunct faculty; the systematic dismantling of public ownership and services; the privatized exorbitantly-priced healthcare system; the rewriting of the tax code to benefit the wealthiest Americans; the victimization of immigrant children and their parents and other forms of oligarchic oppression. Are we going to allow the continuing deregulation of our environmental protections; the continuing privatization of our public schools; the eradication of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; the transformation of the U.S. courts and the privatization of the justice system; the manufacturing of paranoia about migrant caravans of Mexican and South American immigrants seeking asylum; the current GOP's obstructionism, authoritarianism, xenophobia, unaccountable dark money, voter suppression, and their reinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution to successfully oppress the majority of Americans?


    ReplyDelete
  8. From the articles of impeachment:

    “...Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

    ReplyDelete
  9. For anyone interested in a huge nation-wide protest, it's scheduled to happen the night before the HOUSE votes on Trump's impeachment. To find a local protest, go to: MoveOn.org where you can find local events or you can join in the biggest one in Chicago. You can also sign-up on MoveOn.org where you'd be given the time, address and city! I'll be in Crystal Lake.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The aforementioned protest is called: "Nobody Is Above the Law."

    https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/event/impeach-and-remove/search/

    ReplyDelete
  11. January 6, 2021

    “Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump," Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote. "His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice." The United States will overcome "this stain," while Trump "will deservedly be left a man without a country," he wrote.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ARTICLE 1: INCITEMENT OF INSURRECTION

    The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment, for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States from “hold[ing] and office ... under the United States.’ In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:

    On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.

    President Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.

    In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

    Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

    ReplyDelete