The “I” Word

Recent thoughts from Pravda and Izvestia.

buy cheap accutane online Here are seven reasons Trump should be impeached
By Max Boot, Washington Post
June 3, 2019

Article 1. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has obstructed the administration of justice:

1. He attempted to fire Mueller. The Mueller report found “substantial evidence . . . that the President’s attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the President’s conduct.”

2. Trump attempted to curtail Mueller’s investigation. Mueller found “that the President’s effort to have [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions limit the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President’s and his campaign’s conduct.”

3. He ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn to falsify the record to conceal his attempts to fire Mueller. Mueller found that Trump “acted . . . in order to deflect or prevent further scrutiny of the President’s conduct.”

4. He fired FBI Director James B. Comey, Mueller found, because of “Comey’s unwillingness to publicly state that the President was not personally under investigation.” Moreover, Mueller wrote, by firing Comey “the President wanted to protect himself from an investigation into his campaign,” because he knew “that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns.” Trump showed awareness of guilt by advancing “a pretextual reason to the press and the public for Comey’s termination.”

5. He tried to dissuade Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, and other witnesses from cooperating with the government. The non-cooperation of Manafort and Stone, in particular, made it impossible to establish the exact nature of the relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Article II. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, failed to defend America from foreign election interference. As a candidate, he welcomed Russian intervention in the 2016 election and refused to notify the proper authorities of contacts between his campaign and representatives of Russia and WikiLeaks. As president, he denied that the Russian attack had even occurred, accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s false denials of responsibility, and showed no interest in determining the full scale of the attack. He repeatedly called the Russia investigation a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” even though Mueller determined “that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election” and that “the matters we investigated were of paramount importance.”

Article III. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, attempted to investigate and prosecute his political opponents. On three occasions, Mueller found, Trump asked the Justice Department to initiate investigations of Hillary Clinton. More recently, Trump and his attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, attempted to initiate an investigation of Joe Biden.

Article IV. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, failed to produce papers and testimony as duly directed by Congress. Trump obstructed at least 20 inquiries relating to his taxes, business records, the Mueller investigation and other matters.

Article V. Donald J. Trump, in violation of federal campaign finance laws, conspired with his attorney Michael Cohen in order to conceal alleged relationships with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy playmate Karen McDougal before the 2016 election.

Article VI. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to uphold Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution (“No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law”), attempted to misuse his emergency powers to spend funds on a border wall that Congress did not appropriate.

Article VII. Donald J. Trump, in violation of his oath to uphold the emoluments clauses (which forbid the president from accepting benefits from foreign and state governments without the permission of Congress) retains ownership of a global business empire which allows him to benefit from dealings with foreign and state governments.

That Trump is guilty of these offenses – and more – is not necessarily an argument for moving forward with impeachment. That could backfire politically if it results, as it surely would, in a failure to convict by the Republican-controlled Senate. But don’t pretend, as do 249 out of 250 Republican members of Congress, that there is insufficient evidence to even open an impeachment inquiry. Trump has committed more criminal and unconstitutional conduct than any previous president in U.S. history. If they refuse to impeach him, members of Congress will violate their own oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

That goes for you too Nancy.

The Articles of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump: A Draft
By Ian Prasad Philbrick, Editorial Staff of The New York Times
6/5/19

Article I

The Russian government engaged in a sophisticated campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. On May 17, 2017, a special counsel was appointed to investigate Russian interference, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. The special counsel was also given “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the special counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.” Subsequent thereto, Donald J. Trump, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct the investigation of such Russian contacts and potential obstruction of justice; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:

  • withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative employees of the United States, including congressional committees;
  • approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and encouraging witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;
  • interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of the special counsel, and congressional committees;
  • endeavoring to misuse the Department of Justice, an agency of the United States;
  • making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Trump 2016 campaign, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct; or
  • endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony or endeavoring to intimidate individuals who offered testimony.

In all of this, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

Article II

Using the powers of the office of president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, 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, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purpose of these agencies.

This conduct has included one or more of the following:

  • He misused the Department of Justice, and other executive personnel, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office.
  • He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavoured to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive, judicial and legislative entities concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the cover-up thereof.
  • In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch, including the Department of Justice, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

In all of this, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Article III

In his conduct of the office of president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, 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, has failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 19, 2019, April 22, 2019, and May 21, 2019; the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the House of Representatives on April 15, 2019; the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives on April 15, 2019; the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives on April 15, 2019, and May 8, 2019; and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives on May 10, 2019, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the president. In refusing to produce these papers and things Donald J. Trump, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In all of this, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Donald J. Trump by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

Calls for President Trump’s impeachment are getting louder. Since the release of Robert Mueller’s report, White House stonewalling of congressional subpoenas and Mr. Mueller’s first public comments, almost 60 House Democrats, a quarter of the caucus, have said they support an impeachment inquiry.

If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably guide them. The Constitution leaves “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the term that describes impeachable offenses, vague, notes the historian Timothy Naftali, a co-writer of a recent book on impeachment. “So if you are doing your constitutional duty as an elected member of Congress, how do you define high crimes and misdemeanors?” he asked. “One of the ways you do it is by looking at past practice.”

Impeachment is often said to be a political process. But when you assess Mr. Trump’s conduct by the bar for impeachment set by past Democratic and Republican lawmakers for past presidents of both parties, the results are striking. The pathway to a possible Trump impeachment is already mapped out.

These rewritten articles against Mr. Trump don’t include other potentially impeachable offenses that lack a clear precedent in the Nixon and Clinton cases, such as hush-money payments to women or possible violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

(T)here is no question that by the standards for high crimes and misdemeanors applied to past presidents in living memory, Donald J. Trump has committed impeachable offenses.