High Crime and Misdemeanor

The second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon provided, in pertinent part:

Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, . . . , in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

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5. In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch . . . in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.


In the last two days, Trump has unleashed a Twitter-storm directed against Amazon.com. Today, Amazon’s stock declined by 5.12%, representing a loss of market cap of over $34.6 Billion.  As reported by Gabriel Sherman of the Atlantic:

[A]ccording to four sources close to the White House, Trump is discussing ways to escalate his Twitter attacks on Amazon to further damage the company. “He’s off the hook on this. It’s war,” one source told me. “He gets obsessed with something, and now he’s obsessed with Bezos,” said another source. “Trump is like, how can I fuck with him?”

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Even Trump’s allies acknowledge that much of what’s fueling Trump’s rage toward Amazon is that Amazon C.E.O. Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, sources said.

There is no longer any question that we have now crossed into impeachment territory.  One needn’t rely solely on Sherman’s reporting.  After all, Trump’s actions are the same as a mobster extortionist who says:  “Nice business you got here.  It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”  Yet, the media is strangely silent on the connections between Trump’s actions in the last two days and impeachment. Could it be that many simply view Trump as the bloviating crazy uncle that no one takes seriously?  Sherman’s reporting calls into serious question this response:

Advisers are also encouraging Trump to cancel Amazon’s multi-billion contract with the Pentagon to provide cloud computing services, sources say. Another line of attack would be to encourage attorneys general in red states to open investigations into Amazon’s business practices. Sources say Trump is open to the ideas.

Now, regardless of any further turn in the Mueller investigation, it is time to remove Trump from his office.

7 thoughts on “High Crime and Misdemeanor”

  1. Given this example, who else in the media would want to take a swing at this one?

    And it's not April 15 yet, so we don't know whose returns he will order be audited.

    1. Wouldn't you think that, by now, someone at the IRS or New York State Department of Taxation and Finance would have leaked Trump's tax return?

      1. Not that easy. I have no experience with NY State, but with the IRS, even in ordinary returns, every time the return is viewed or downloaded, the identification of the person opening the file is recorded. It is unlikely that someone within the IRS would review, much less release, any such return.

  2. Don't forget the 25th Amendment. Unlike impeachment, it's an action by the President's subordinates in the executive, led by the Vice-President. Pence shows no sign of growing a spine. But as I've argued before, there are circumstances - especially during an ongoing impeachment - in which the 25th can look the lesser evil to other Republicans: faster, cleaner, blame-shifting. Perhaps the circumstances include a Trump defence to Stuart's charge that he did not understand what he was doing. Nixon was not even impeached, let alone convicted - he resigned when a Republican delegation of the great and the good told him impeachment was inevitable and conviction highly probable.

    1. Pence isn't going to lead an effort to invoke the 25th. But he only needs to lead it nominally. The real job probably falls to McConnell and Ryan, who will only try if they foresee electoral disaster otherwise. They might get Pence on board - the prospect of becoming President may do it - but getting a majority of the Cabinet to go along strikes me as close to impossible, though I bet Sessions go for it.

    2. "Pence shows no sign of growing a spine. "

      Pence is sitting there very quietly, as the one guy in the White House whom Trump can't fire.


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