I have said this before, but am saying it again. The clearest grounds for impeaching Donald Trump are not his obstruction of justice on which so much attention is being focused, but in my view his blatant and unequivocal acceptance of emoluments from foreign governments, with this most clearly evident at his hotel in Washington, with these emoluments the basis of lawsuits by the governments of Maryland and D.C. going forward slowly. But somehow none in Congress pushing impeachment have raised this issue as grounds for impeachment, even though this is something expressly forbidden in the Constitution of presidents. What clearer grounds for impeaching a president could there be?
I think there are four interrelated reasons we have not seen much discussion of this matter. One is that there has been so much focus on the Mueller Report, which focused on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the relation of the Trump campaign with that. While Mueller failed to find sufficient evidence of conspiracy, the door was left open for possible obstruction of justice, even though A.G. Barr has vigorously tried to slam it shut. And then we have seen Trump apparently doing more of it as he tries to get his whole administration ignoring Congressional subpoenas.
Another reason for this focus is that charges on this were key in the move to impeach President Nixon, with him being forced to resign as fellow Republicans made it clear they would support the move to impeach on these grounds. Needless to say, today, with the exception of Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, no Republicans are supporting the move to impeach, a major reason Speaker Pelosi continues to resist opening a formal impeachment inquiry, even as the pressure to do so rises.
A third reason is that Mueller apparently accepted the demand by Trump to recognize a "red line" around his personal finances. Those are now increasingly coming under investigation, and we are beginning to see some of his tax returns. But an impeachable focus out of what may come has not fully come into view, although possible money laundering of Russian oligarch money through Deutsche Bank is widely thought to have occurred and may soon be exposed. But is that impeachable as it all happened before Trump became president?
Which brings us to the fourth reason, we have never had a president ever in the 232 years since George Washington took his oath of office who has even remotely been suggested to have violated this very clear rule stated in the Constitution, not a poor one (and we have had a few not rich, if not outright indigent) nor a rich one. None of them, until at least now. We have not been able to think about this.
But now it is here, if partially buried in all the carryings on about so many other matters, especially this matter of obstruction of justice. But here we have a president for the first time ever clearly taking money from foreigners while in office, and in the case of the Saudis in particular, who have dumped piles of money into the Trump Hotel in Washington, acted in ways the Foreign emolumenter wants, arguably against the interests of the US. Did we need to have "Bone Saw" MBS take power in a coup supported by Trump and Kushner? Should we be rushing to war with Iran at their behest? Should we be continuing to arm them for their brutal war in Yemen?
I would like to see at least one of the people either running for president or stomping about in the Congress demanding impeachment bring this up. This is a far clearer violation of the Constituton than anything else Trump has done. This is exactly why the Founding Fathers both put the emoluments clause into the Constitution and gave Congress the power to impeach presidents. If there is a "high crime and misdemeanor" the Founding Fathers would have had in mind when they did all this, is not violating the emoluments clause at the very top of the list? Out with the crooked bum!
Really fine and necessary and well-written argument.
Recently, I read somewhere that when Barack Obama was president he would not apply for a home mortgage out of concern for propriety (I did not pay attention to the details and do not have the reference but know the source was completely reliable). The point is, Obama was of course ethical.
But here we have a president for the first time ever clearly taking money from foreigners while in office, and in the case of the Saudis in particular, who have dumped piles of money into the Trump Hotel in Washington, acted in ways the Foreign emolumenter wants, arguably against the interests of the US. Did we need to have "Bone Saw" MBS take power in a coup supported by Trump and Kushner? Should we be rushing to war with Iran at their behest? Should we be continuing to arm them for their brutal war in Yemen?
[ Painful but necessary to think about. ]
I wonder what the "ayahuasca left" would think of this strategy? I presume they would claim that it is invalid sour grapes because Democrats were unable to get their way with the "Russia Collusion Hoax."
Thanks, Anonymous, and agree.
Well, I think the ongoing House investigations, not to mention some of the New York State court cases, may yet lead to serious problems for Trump along both various financial fronts related to Russians, not to mention indeed the obstruction of justice matter that I may have dismissed too much. The "Russia Collusion Hoax" may yet come to bite trump on the behind pretty hard, even if nobody goes after him on the emouluments matter.
I believe the first anonymous poster must be the anne, who transcribes krugman and baker at economistsview and keeps going despite the troll infestation.
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