President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted what appeared to be his incredulous attitudes toward the idea that an impeachment inquiry had been started against him.
“Impeached for what, having created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, building our strongest ever Military, Cutting Taxes too much?” Trump wrote. He also quoted a tweet below his complaints, in which he suggested — wrongly — that only 25 percent of Americans supported the impeachment inquiry (a majority, in fact, back the idea).
There’s a lot to unpack there, and as Alternet pointed out, plenty of people blasted the tweet from Trump for ignoring key points as to why he’s being impeached. It has nothing to do with the economy (which he didn’t build), the military (which was fine before he came to office), or tax cuts (which have resulted in billionaires paying lower taxes than the middle class).
Impeached for what, having created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, building our strongest ever Military, Cutting Taxes too much? https://t.co/LWxfEcRmj4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2019
But aside from his dubious claims of supposed accomplishments, Trump is deserving of an impeachment inquiry. Many reasons abound, but three big ones come to mind.
First, the most recent issue: the Ukraine scandal. A conversation between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, first detailed within a whistleblower complaint from an official within the intelligence community, showcased how Trump seemingly pressured the foreign leader into agreeing to investigate Trump’s potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden.
Although Trump claims the call was “perfect,” subsequent evidence — including text messages from State department officials — demonstrate that efforts to hurt Biden politically may have been more on Trump’s mind than a legitimate concern to root out so-called corruption.
Famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein said that Trump’s actions have “mortgaged our foreign policy” in order to benefit himself personally. “We now see a suggestion, maybe more than a suggestion, of a real conspiracy led by the president of the United States and his lawyer, to undermine our electoral process through involving and intimidating a foreign power,” Bernstein added.
After the whistleblower complaint came about, it was revealed that Trump & Co. tried to hide the memorandum of the call on a higher-than-needed classified server — which brings us to the next topic of impeachable offenses: obstruction of justice. The administration’s actions here are clearly an attempt to hide what could be deemed improper conversations had between Trump and another foreign leader. Hiding those conversations itself is problematic, and if Trump was aware of it, it renders him worthy of removal.
NEW: Early this morning, Trump admin advised Gordon Sondland, top diplomat enmeshed in Ukraine scandal, NOT to testify at his scheduled House deposition today. Move will likely fuel Dems calls to also impeach on obstruction. w/@npfandos https://t.co/KuMn6EQYKN
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) October 8, 2019
But this isn’t the only instance that Trump has obstructed justice. Indeed, within the report compiled by former special counsel Robert Mueller, there were at least 10 instances of the president acting in ways that Mueller deemed as attempts to thwart the investigation itself, the Associated Press reported.
Other instances of obstruction exist, including the administration’s refusal to cooperate with Congress when it has requested documents in the past. A recent letter from Trump’s White House counsel also demonstrated that the president will likely try his hardest to impede the impeachment inquiry altogether.
No one is asking for Trump to incriminate himself, but government documents that exist within his office, when requested for the inquiry by the House of Representatives, must be turned over — and efforts to stall or impede those requests should be seen as further acts of obstruction.
But if neither of those two issues bothers you, there’s a third big reason to impeach Trump: his blatant violations of the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution while serving as president. Trump’s businesses have clearly profited from his being president, which is what the founders of our nation wanted to avoid.
Why were they against so-called emoluments? A political leader, they argued, could be swayed by payments made to them by another actor. Conversely, a leader could also use their position to profit, and not necessarily make decisions that are on behalf of the American people.
Trump is doing both. He takes numerous vacations to his own properties, where Secret Service have to rent out rooms and even golf carts in order to protect him. But there’s also a disturbing trend of lobbyists and foreign dignitaries booking his Trump Organization hotel rooms, The Guardian noted.
Are these people booking rooms because they’re economical or in close proximity to their business-related travels, or are they doing so in an attempt to curry favor with the president? A strong argument could be made for the latter.
Trump may end up surviving an impeachment from Congress. The most likely scenario is that he will be impeached by the House but that the Senate will not vote to remove him from office (a Senate vote for indictment would require close to 20 Republicans crossing the aisle).
Yet the suggestion that Trump hasn’t done anything worthy of impeachment is laughable. Yes, the president has to make a defense for himself, in public and within Congress as it investigates him. But the tweet he sent out on Wednesday is laughable, at best.
This president deserves impeachment, and what’s more, removal from office as well. It’s only because he’s got political protection in the Senate that the latter circumstance will not come about…although, if it were put to a vote by the people, it’s likely that Trump wouldn’t be granted the chance to remain in office. In 2020, we’ll know for sure.