Donald Trump is a hood, a mobster, a cheat, a fraud, a criminal, and a liar. We don’t need the Mueller report. The criminal behavior is right in front of us.
Impeachment is not a criminal endeavor; it is a political one. And a President can be impeached without an evidentiary “smoking gun”. But Donald Trump is a font of criminal behavior. And he has an enormous number of actions which are of questionable value for American interests.
But Congress does have a dilemma. Republicans in the Senate have buried their heads in the sand and deafened their ears. They have chosen to keep the power rather than do what is right. And even with the House now in control of the Democrats, impeachment hearings have a very uncertain outcome.
So what should the Democrats do going forward?
Well, they do what they are doing now. Hold hearings on the wealth of potential investigations that have surfaced during this criminal enterprise called the Trump Presidency.
And even without a public Mueller report, there is ample evidence that crimes have been committed.
Let’s go through the list:
- The Emoluments Clause – there is little question that President Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Not only can he not spell Emoluments but he has has no idea what it means. But his actions are its definition. He has not divested his business interests and foreign governments continue to enrich his coffers via the Trump DC Hotel, as well as other real estate ventures. And worse than that, Russian money laundering seems to be wrapped up in that criminal sandwich as well.
- Obstruction of Justice – Trump is a walking, talking obstructive force. He fires nearly everyone who takes part in the investigation into Russian interference. And then he admits on national television that he fired the head of the FBI “because of Russia.” He meddles in the investigations in other ways as well. Hinting his preferences and pushing his own loyalists into key positions. He tampers with witnesses, dangles potential pardons, and gives his own public opinion on individuals involved. All of this is plain sight – written and recorded.
- Criminal Cabinet – Nearly everyone in his cabinet has some kind of scandal. Not just one or two, but nearly every one of them. Any cabinet person who voices a concern is fired. People caught in the cookie jar in public, take forever to be fired or resign. Trump defends them, makes excuses, and acts as if it is no big deal. Meanwhile, their actions harm the public in countless ways. From FDA inspection to EPA violations.
- Policy by Tweet – The President is supposed to carefully examination any policy decision he or she might make…based on faithfully gathered information from a host of sources. This President ignores advisors and makes his own policy sitting up in the middle of the night on an unsecured phone. Fortunately, many of these impulses get walked back when cooler heads figure out a way to save face, but sooner or later, there will be a dangerous mistake made.
- Lies – This President lies constantly. He makes things up, he gives wrong information, he exaggerates, he will not accept facts, and he undermines the free press. Needless to say, this a very bad form of governance. We have to have some trust in what comes out of the White House. Right now, our first reaction is always skeptical. That undermines the country in so many ways. And no one is working to stop this.
Any of these things can constitute impeachable offenses. Remember, an impeachment is not about criminality, it is about a dangerous political climate for the country. Trump is absolutely dangerous. But impeachment is still a difficult path to take. We still have a significant portion of the country that still supports him – even with all the evidence put forth every day, they only believe what they want to believe.
And that would make an impeachable action a questionable path.
Fortunately, with a Democratic House we have a vital check on this administration. We have rock solid committee chairs who know what they are doing and a Speaker with good character and strong knowledge of the rules and an extraordinary amount of experience.
Is that enough? I have to hope it is for now. Everything awaits the Mueller report. That will be the next phase and will give us the path to follow.
This is a Constitutional crisis. We are in an unpredictable, historical point in our history. Let’s hope that heroes will arise.