Tuesday, May 23, 2017 03:23:43 AM
Sabria Chowdhury Balland :
"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
-Abraham Lincoln, 16th. US President
Article II of The United States Constitution defines impeachment as the following: that "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.
Having said that, speculations about an impeachment existed even before Donald Trump took the oath of office. Some articles discussing his impeachment date back to April of 2016. Furthermore, Google searches for the word "impeachment" soared after Trump's election in November 2016. Now with Trump actually in the White House, the voices which vociferate impeachment have actually intensified. A poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling has established that 4 out of 10 voters want a Trump impeachment, while a petition to the same effect has amassed more than 780,000 signatures. Even some gambling sites are offering 2 to 1 odds that Trump will be impeached.
So based on what the Constitution has laid down as grounds for impeachment, how would this work for Trump?
One of the most significant cases of impeachment against Trump currently are his business ties and the blatant conflicts of interest they cause. Trump is accused of violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution which states that "no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatever from any king, prince or foreign state."
Donald Trump may have handed over his businesses to his sons before being inaugurated President but that was simply a pretext. He never had any intentions of divesting himself from his businesses, thus to this day, benefitting financially from them. ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, revealed after the inauguration that Trump is still very much tied to his businesses through a revocable trust.
Only first of numerous violations of the Constitution.
In addition to violating the Constitution through his foreign business entanglements, Trump may also be violating The Domestic Emoluments Clause, which states that a President may not receive "any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them, on top of his specified salary." How does this relate to Trump's financial situation? His innumerable tax breaks from his business ties.
As if these 2 grave violations were not sufficient to question The President's eligibility to continue remaining in office, other significant Constitutional violations could arise.
Ties between Trump and Russia could be revealed, suggesting potential treason. There could possibly be other potential examples of wrongdoing and misconduct exposed by the more than 75 open lawsuits which Trump currently faces. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has stood firmly against the campaign promises Trump had made and campaigned on such as mass deportations and surveillance of American Muslims, revealing that this would gravely violate multiple constitutional amendments.
The clauses and examples cited above lead to 2 distinct thoughts:
The first is that Trump is clearly and openly pushing the limits of the US Constitution, defying and violating the very principles which he has taken an oath to defend.
The second is that he really does not care and he takes Americans and the rest of the world in fact, as fools. Judging from the way each and every bit of his outrageous campaign was meticulously displayed by the media and his actual winning the election to the highest office, it is probably enough cause for the President to think that anything goes and he is unaccountable.
Granted, the impeachment process is arduous and time consuming but undoubtedly, the grounds exist. In addition, Trump could do something catastrophic (even more than already done) that would encourage Republicans to vote against him. This brings to light a point which has been brought up and discussed time and time again: Trump's blatant mental instability. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution states that a President may be removed from office if he is deemed mentally unfit. If all the untruthful outburst on Twitter and elsewhere are any indication, then clearly and undoubtedly, Trump demonstrates signs of mental instability. Do we really need or want this mental instability to continue going anywhere near the nuclear launch codes?
To quote President Lyndon B. Johnson:
"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."
We have made a monumental error in the election in November of 2016. The light at the end of the tunnel is to resist and hope that we can somehow correct this monumental error. For our children.
(The writer is a teacher, writer, political columnist, and member of the US Democratic Party. She may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @sabriaballand )
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