April 20, 2018

The Week in Impeachment: A president behind the curve — pushing us deeper into the abyss

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This week brought presidential acts of war, attacks on all three branches of government, chaos, corruption, and evidence from James Comey, the former FBI Director fired by President Trump.

The media focused this week on several issues that appear to be Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s focus: Trump’s reasoning in firing Comey; the president’s role crafting a misleading public statement regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians; his pardon-dangling to witnesses who could provide testimony damaging to him; and his pressuring of Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. In summary, the week brought new evidence the president’s willingness to abuse power in the interest of his exoneration.

The week brought new evidence of Executive Branch corruption, oppression, negligence, and incompetence. The President is directly and vicariously liable for all the harm this does — via impeachment.

And, to even further harm, the president continued to endanger our national security as, in the opinion of at least eighty-eight members of Congress, he violated the separation of powers as he ineffectively and illegally waged war against Syria with neither a plan nor Congressional authorization.

Consider the following examples from this week’s massive evidence of impeachable presidential misconduct that harms us.

 

First Charge: Interference with the administration of justice, vital processes, witnesses, and the rule of law

 

Second Charge: Presidential negligence, corruption, and breach of duty to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States

 

Third Charge: Violating the separation of powers and endangering national security

 

Fourth Charge: Personal profiting, corruption, and abuse of office for financial gain

 

Fifth Charge: Undermining and derogating the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government

 

Sixth Charge: Oppression, neglect, and incompetence, violating the fundamental rights of US citizens in Puerto Rico

 

Conclusion

James Comey’s evidence this week—that Trump, informed of the Russian attack on our electoral process, had no interest in protecting the US from future attacks—demonstrates the inability of our president to consider the interests of the United States; he cared only to spin his incorrect claim that the US intelligence community made some finding that Russian interference had not impacted the vote that put him into office. Trump asked only the question: “You found there was no impact in the result, right?” Despite being told there was no such analysis or finding, Trump tweeted the opposite.

His complete focus on his personal interests produces continued chaos, exemplified by withdrawn Russian sanctions, as well as in trade relations, with Trump giving mixed signals on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and economic policy, where the president has opined that both China and Russia “are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates,” even while the Treasury Department declines to label China a currency manipulator.

This week’s tumultuous chaos—punctuated by the bewilderment of Senator Graham that a highest-level foreign policy briefing on the Syrian war “makes no sense to me”—gives hope that Congress recognizes its Constitutional duty to protect the country from further harm, and impeach.

 

 

Barbara Ann Radnofsky is a mother, wife, teacher, mediator and arbitrator. A lawyer since 1979, she was the first woman Texas Democratic U.S. Senate nominee and later the first woman Texas Democratic Attorney General nominee. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Houston and the University of Texas School of Law, she was honored as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas in 1988 and has been listed for more than 25 years in “Best Lawyers in America" in multiple areas. She lives in Houston, where she is one of many co-owners of the Brazos Bookstore, and is the author of A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment, available now. Follow her at @TXBarbaraAnn!

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