Impeach Trump! A December 15 interview with constitutional attorney John Bonifaz provided plenty of reasons to support the growing case for impeaching the current POTUS. The comment I have received most from folks to whom I expressed this opinion has been: “But then we get Pence.”
My answer is, first, VP Pence and his family is not exploiting the presidency for immense personal financial gain (nor do we pay for security and luxury lodging for Pence’s sons to travel the world conducting business for the family empire). Second, Pence, while a religious conservative, is not mentally ill, a pathological liar disconnected from objective reality, or accused by many women of sexual assault (as far we know).
While cabinet posts, heads of agencies and judgeships would still be a very serious issues and worthy of maximum resistance, I do not think Pence would run the presidency via Tweet storm, bathrobe-clad in the wee hours, nor would he publicly insult and demean female senators as DJT has recently done to Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.
Bonifaz described the case for impeachment, ranging from lawlessness and corruption to abuse of power in elaboration of the following points. I encourage you to read the whole interview.
— Violations of the anti-corruption provisions of the constitution—the Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Domestic Emoluments Clause. This president is taking illegal payments and benefits from foreign governments and from the state governments around the country, as well as from the federal government.
—Obstruction of justice (the first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon). When he didn’t get a pledge of loyalty from FBI Director Richard Comey, Trump fired him for not letting go, as he put it, of the Flynn investigation and “this Russia thing.”
—Potential collusion with the Russian government, to violate federal campaign finance laws and other federal laws and to interfere with our elections.
—Abuse of the pardon power (it is NOT unlimited) by pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, essentially undermining the due process rights of the thousands of people who were impacted by Arpaio’s illegal actions.
—Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, not just what the president said after the Charlottesville tragedy, but also his tweeting out recently of anti-Muslim—inflammatory, and falsely-identified videos.
—Recklessly threatening nuclear war. Trump’s wanton disregard for the established norms and for essentially putting millions of lives at stake, threatening in reality, the world, is an impeachable offense.
— Bonifaz concluded: “This president has talked about how he would like to see the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton and other political adversaries. This attempted misuse of the Justice Department to prosecute political adversaries would be another impeachable offense worthy of investigation.”
In addition, I would add to the above list: bragging about sexually assaulting women. First Donald J. Trump acknowledged the audio-taped evidence as “locker room talk,” and then denied its authenticity. Remember when President Bill Clinton was impeached … not for having oral sex with a White House intern but for lying about it?
RECOMMENDATION: Brave New Films, a non-partisan non-profit founded by Robert Greenwald and whose work I have been following since the Iraq invasion in 2003, has produced “16 Women and Donald Trump.” (a video of just over 3 minutes you can see here) It reminded me a lot of the testimony against Bill Cosby in the ABC special from 2009, where more than 55 women gave what I consider credible and strikingly similar testimony.