FROM THE LEFT

The necessity to impeach Trump

The impeachment of any political leader is a major disruption to the functioning of a government, but it is to be taken when there are actions or crimes that are so serious that they jeopardize the functioning of our government. However, it is the responsibility of Congress to take the necessary steps when actions of politicians require them to do so.

As spelled out in our Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5, “the House of Representatives shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

For them to not do their job would be a dereliction of duty. Impeachment proceedings to remove an American president have only been carried out twice since the inception of our Constitution.

In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. The primary charge was Johnson’s violation of the Tenure of Office Act, when he removed the Secretary of War from office and 10 more articles, including “bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency.”

Simply put, it was Johnson’s “abuse of power” that led to his impeachment.

In 1998, William Jefferson Clinton was impeached “on grounds of perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice.” The case against Clinton was primarily due to lying about a sexual relationship with an intern.

There are several reasons impeachment proceedings must begin for Trump: 1. Violation of our Constitution — As he announced his run for president, Trump stated that “Mexicans and Muslims” were coming into our country, killing and raping our women, and if elected, he would keep them out.

Once he became president, he implemented a policy to keep people of color from coming into the country. Executive action was taken to put a travel ban in place based solely on Muslim countries. Even though the courts blocked the ban, Trump signed an unconstitutional order.

Justice Kennedy stated, “An executive order or law displays unconstitutional animus.” In addition to the unconstitutional illegality, Trump’s remarks in describing these groups were hateful, racist and degrading to the office of the president.

2. Abuse of power — Abuse of power was illustrated by the firing of James Comey — because he would not stop an investigation involving Michael Flynn, Trump’s NSA Director — and by his declaration of a “National Emergency” to override the decision of Congress to not fund the wall. These abuses of power are disrespectful to our system of checks and balances.

3. Conspiring with a foreign adversary — During the 2016 election, investigations have shown that several of Trump’s staff were involved with the Russians to help him get elected. In addition to lying by saying no one was involved with the Russians, he helped to write a letter stating it was about adoptions. Several have admitted guilt.

4. Violations of the Emoluments Clause — Since being in office Trump has profited from doing business in his hotels and other businesses by both foreign and domestic entities.

Even though he pledged to give up control of his business once elected, he never has. This is a violation of Article 2, Section 2, Clause 7.

5. Obstruction of justice — Examples include the firing of Comey, attempts to prevent Mueller from completing his investigation, helping to write a false report, urging potential witnesses not to cooperate and comments via tweets for Stone to “stay strong.”

In addition, there is a disregard for law and political norms, threats to freedom of speech and the undermining of our political institutions.

It is necessary to impeach Trump because to continue to allow him to trample over our Constitution with no repercussions can lead to tyranny.

Our system of government requires each branch to do its job. The 2018 election was about electing politicians that would uphold “the rule of law.” It is their responsibility to investigate and carry out their duty.

Johnson and Clinton were impeached for far lesser crimes than the current president. Congress must step up and do the job required of them by our Constitution.

 

 

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