Dems Laying Groundwork to Impeach Trump?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to Speaker Pelosi's aides, impeachment proceedings against Trump may be coming though nothing is certain at this point.
Third-ranking House Dem Jim Clyborn said the groundwork is being laid. "I think we've already begun," he said on Sunday, dubiously claiming grounds exist to impeach related to the Mueller report. More below on this below.
According to the NYT, 54 House Dems support impeachment, 58 against, 123 uncommitted so far. A majority of the 435 House members is needed to launch proceedings, support for taking this step nowhere near the number needed if the above tally is right.
According to militantly anti-Trump CNN, an SSRS poll conducted for the cable channel found 76% of Dem supporters favoring impeachment compared to 41% of voters overall for it.
Anti-Trump media are pushing for impeachment. On Tuesday, the NYT headlined "Democratic Voters Want Impeachment. The House Dawdles," saying:
"(O)rdinary people care about Trump's lawbreaking…Across the country, Democratic voters have begun demanding that their representatives take a position on impeachment."
"Opening a formal impeachment inquiry would put the question of Trump's lawbreaking at the center of national life…The moment demands (impeachment), so do the people who put Democrats in charge."
A late May Times opinion piece headlined "Democrats, Do Your Damned Duty," calling for Trump's impeachment, adding: "What the hell is it going to take, Democrats?!"
A neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post opinion piece called for impeaching Trump for the following dubious reasons:
attempting to fire Mueller — false; see below;
trying to curb his investigation — false;
ordering White House counsel "Donald McGahn to falsify the record to conceal his attempts to fire Mueller;" no evidence suggests Trump tried to fire him, just the oppose; see below;
firing former FBI director James Comey (the president's prerogative, not an impeachable offense);
obstructing the Mueller probe by urging "Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, and other witnesses" not to cooperate with it, along with obstructing congressional inquiries relating to the probe, his taxes and business records;
No obstruction of justice evidence exists. See below.
violating his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and fully execute the laws of the land;
The above applies to virtually all US presidents since the beginning of the republic.
wanting his relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels concealed;
misusing his emergency powers to spend funds for his border wall; and
retaining ownership of his businesses — a likely unethical, not illegal act.
Most of the above accusations are false or dubious. Should Trump be impeached for spending funds for border wall construction and not wanting information about his extramarital affair disclosed?
Federal law requires candidates for federal office, as well as current office holders and their senior staff — including congressional members, the president and vice president, their cabinet members, senior administration staff, as well as Supreme Court Justices — to file annual disclosures of their personal finances.
Most likely, the above requirements include full disclosure of federal income tax returns as requested by Congress which Trump refused to comply with.
Should he be impeached for nondisclosure while appealing a federal judge's order to release his personal tax returns for the 2013-18 period, along with other returns for several of his businesses?
Speaker Pelosi accused him of "engag(ing) in a coverup" with little or no elaboration. Are she and other Dems claiming improper or illegal DJT ties to Russia despite Mueller finding no evidence of either behavior?
Do they want him impeached for AG Barr only releasing around 98% of the Mueller report to congressional leaders, not all 535 House and Senate members? The portion they got omitted redacted material.
In May, the Dem controlled House Judiciary Committee reached a deal with the White House and DOJ to release less than the full Mueller report and related documents.
The special counsel found no evidence of Trump team collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice. There's no case for impeaching him on these grounds.
The Mueller report includes 11 instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump and his campaign staff – short of accusing anyone of this crime, because no proof beyond a reasonable doubt exists.
According to Law Professor Jonathan Turley, "obstruction theories against (Trump) far outstrip the available evidence of the crime…Trump appears more guilty of obsessive rather than obstructive conduct" – the former a personality trait, not a crime.
Following release of the Mueller report, Turley explained that Trump "did not fire anyone involved in the investigation. He did not destroy any evidence. He did not end the investigation prematurely."
"He took no actual obstructive acts. To charge him would have amounted to a virtual thought crime."
"…Trump not only ordered senior staff to cooperate with Mueller, but he did not withhold evidence. Most important, he waived executive privilege over the entirety of the report in an unprecedented degree of transparency."
There's plenty about Trump to criticize and hold him accountable for, including high crimes of war and against humanity, along with serving monied interests at the expense of the general welfare, and much more.
Dems and establishment media for impeachment want him held accountable for the wrong reasons, not the right ones.
No president in US history was removed from office by impeachment.
Under the Constitution's Article II, Section 4, impeachment and conviction require proving "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
The Constitution's Article I, Section 2 empowers House members to impeach a sitting president. Senate members alone are empowered to try them.
If impeachment occurs, the GOP controlled Senate is highly unlikely to convict Trump. The move could backfire on Dems, perhaps increasing his 2020 reelection chances.
After 1998-99 impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, his approval rating reached 73%, the highest point of his presidency.
Trump could benefit the same way if impeached and acquitted by the Senate, perhaps elevating his approval rating to its highest level ahead of the November 2020 presidential election, boosting his chance for another term.
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