Trump’s decision on February 2, 2018 to allow the release of the faulty House Intelligence Committee memo critical of the F.B.I., over the objections of both that agency and the Justice Department, was a clear violation of the public trust. Like his firing of James Comey, followed by his attempts to fire Robert Mueller as well, this action demonstrates that Trump considers himself above the law, and is willing to denigrate and subvert government institutions in order to save his own skin.
His decision the following week to block the release of the Democratic rebuttal of that memo, after the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release it also, only adds hypocrisy to his carelessness.
These are polical crimes, injuries to society itself, the very sort of things impeachment exists to remedy. Republicans especially should be alarmed and offended by the actions of Donald Trump. Whether it will be impeachment and conviction that removes him from office, or implementation of the 25thAmendment instead, the moment has arrived for citizens to commit to the task.
Given the current Republican control of Congress, we will not likely see impeachment before 2019. We should make it the foremost issue of the 2018 election. America, let alone the world, cannot afford four years of this menace.
This is the fourth entry on this site. The first, titled “In Violation of the Public Trust”, discusses the purpose of impeachment and the sort of conduct the framers of our Constitution had in mind. The second, titled “If Not Bush, Why Trump?”, argues that although George Bush’s military interventions were disastrous and clear injuries to society, the remedy would have put someone more dangerous in office, Dick Cheney. The third entry, “Loose Cannon on Deck”, addresses Trump’s reckless approach to North Korea, and the nature of nuclear deterrence.
While the most recent provocation, the release of the Republican memo critical of the F.B.I., was in the works, the New York Times reported that Trump was not satisfied with the advice of his military leaders that any military attack on North Korea could escalate to unacceptable consequences, and he was insisting on more military options. This sort of behavior is impeachable as well.
To these two categories, his assault on law and order and his recklessness in foreign policy, we could add his unabashed racism with respect to immigration policy. Given the Nation’s torturous history of racism and the colossal human toll, Donald Trump’s remarks about people from Haiti and African countries, not to mention his earlier characterizations of Mexican nationals, demonstrates that he is unfit morally to serve as president.
What about his attacks on women, and the manner in which he dismisses the many allegations against him of sexual misconduct? In time Americans may come to see these as equal to any of his other transgressions, but these are matters citizens at large do not now have the information to resolve. Similarly, his singling out of Muslims for suspicion, his mimicking of a physically disabled reporter, his refusal to release his tax returns, among other things, are below the office of President, but may not be impeachable in and of themselves.
Suffice it to say Donald Trump is heedless of the national interest, considers himself above the law, and would compromise the hard-fought vision of racial equality. The time has surely come for citizens to insist on his removal from office, by whichever constitutional remedy can acheive that end.