When hearing the name "Donald Trump," a few words come to mind: impulsive, business-oriented, greedy, patriarchal... but unfortunately for the United States, none of those words come close to "presidential" or "leader-material."
Over the span of his first week-and-a-half in office, Trump has managed to slash refugee admissions, insult women as a whole group, block people from entering the country from seven Muslim countries (none of which have a history of terrorism towards the U.S.), bring back the "global gag rule," and put in a place a vague anti-Obamacare order that nobody’s sure what to make of. And that's just the beginning of a long laundry list.
The president of Mexico has canceled a state visit to Washington, and prominent Mexican leaders say that Trump’s border wall plans “could take us to a war — not a trade war.” The president of China is warning to start trade wars and declaring that Beijing will take up the task of defending globalization and free trade against American protectionism. Trump has been putting his own business interests ahead of the country’s and his weird and opportunistic alliance with Vladimir Putin bordering on treason, only continues to grow.
Oh, and the entire senior management team at the U.S. Department of State has resigned. Meanwhile, Trump’s approval ratings are at an all-time low of any new U.S. president in the history of polling — since Dwight Eisenhower — only 36 percent of Americans are pleased with his performance so far.
Yes, he is as crazy as everyone feared.
Governing mostly on a whim or for personal benefit, for the past ten days, President Trump has been acting as if he has been elected dictator. Already, we are hearing a new word describing the outcome of the presidency: Impeachment. It just seems as if this man is incapable of checking whether something is legal before he does it. Just because he's the president of the free world does not put him above the law. Even Republicans are deserting this president in droves.
Filmmaker Michael Moore predicted on Morning Joe that American won’t “have to suffer” through a whole term of Trump since “he will—maybe unintentionally—break laws.” Allan Lichtman, an American University professor who correctly predicted Trump’s victory, also predicted that “Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence—someone who establishment Republicans know and trust."
So what does it take to Impeach the president? Well, impeachment, of course, is a mostly political as well as a legal process. The Founders designed it that way intelligently and deliberately so that Congress couldn't impeach a President simply for their disproval of him or her. But after just a week in office, not only has Trump been deserting the Constitution; his partisan allies are in turn deserting him. Impeachment might be for the better of the country after all.
At this point, it would be pretty easy to impeach Donald Trump if Congress wanted to.
During an interview with the staff of The New York Times, Trump made a series of comments that lend credence to the suspicion that he may be in violation of the “emolument clause” of the Constitution, which prevents the president from being bribed by foreign powers. He said that his Washington, D.C., hotel is “probably a more valuable asset than it was before,” all but acknowledging the already unpopular reports that foreign diplomats could stay and pay expensive prices in the hope it would benefit their relationship with Trump. He also stated that he “might have” brought up the issue of wind farms near his Scottish golf courses when talking with Britain’s Nigel Farage, suggesting he was angling for a quid pro quo.
Responding to questions about these all too apparent conflicts of interest, Trump said, “The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest," eerily echoing Richard Nixon’s infamous comment: “When the president does it, that means it's not illegal.” If Congress wants to, it can take up the issue of Trump’s likely violation of the emolument clause based on the evidence in the public record and Trump’s own admissions.
Due to the aforementioned, a law has resurfaced thanks to the efforts of experts and pundits against the Trump presidency: the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act — or STOCK Act for short.
President Obama and Congress passed the STOCK Act in 2012 to prevent any government employees from participating in insider trading. Specifically, the legislation bars officials from profiting off of any information they attain while on the job or helping friends and family do the same.
It also demands that officials release personal financial information, like residential mortgages. This could present more than one problem for our new president. While Trump has planned to transfer many of his business interests to his children, he would still be at risk of divulging sensitive information, even if accidentally, in their conversations. This would violate the act and open up to endless allegations of insider trading. As for the clause about financial transparency? Trump notoriously refused to release his tax returns throughout his entire campaign. As president, the law would demand he be cooperative on such matters.
The act, still in its infancy, has never been used to impeach a president — but theoretically, it could, as a violation of the law is considered a felony. Of course, there is no real evidence that a newly victorious Republican Congress is unlikely to challenge Trump now that he occupies the Oval Office. However, the constitutional gun is now loaded for anyone willing to pick it up.
Other organizations have launched large-scale attacks on Mr. Trump’s Presidency, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which argue that the 45th President is a threat to minorities, LGBT people, women, and many others included. Planned Parenthood plans to file lawsuits against any erosions of federal law Roe V Wade.
No U.S. President has ever been removed from office through such a process. Bill Clinton was the most recent President to be threatened with impeachment in 1999 but he was acquitted by the Senate.
Given the sheer danger to the Republic as well as to the reputation and existence of the Republican party, Trump’s impeachment is on course to actually being a reality. The only question is how many Trump-related downfalls America will face first.
You can sign a petition for impeachment of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, here and here.