Trump Resignation

Why Trump Might Resign Soon

As the president's legal battles catch up to him, the possibility of resignation looms.

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On December 16, during his nightly Hardball show, MSNBC's Chris Matthews speculated that President Trump would resign in the coming weeks. Matthews suggested that the unpopular president might take the fall to ensure his children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., could be acquitted of all charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Although this outcome seems far-fetched given the rarity of White House resignation (the last president to do so was Nixon), the overwhelming amount of scandal surrounding the Trump administration suggests the President may not finish a full term. At the moment, nearly everything tied to Trump is under investigation: his organization, his campaign, and his foundation, just to name a few. Perhaps the most pressing danger to Trump, Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 investigation, has become even more of a threat in the past few months, with the indictment of three former advisors.

George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser whose greatest qualifier for the job was a brief stint on his high school's Model UN team, was the first aide to go back in October of 2017. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his knowledge of Russian "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. He received a 2-week sentence.

Following Papadopoulos, there was Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn; the latter was indicted on 25 different counts by Mueller, most of which is dealing with his connections to Ukrainian politicians. Most recently, and perhaps most shockingly, was the arrest and sentencing of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who faces a three-year sentence in prison beginning March 6.

Mueller first began his investigation of Cohen, dubbed Trump's "fixer," back in 2017, but handed it over to the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York shortly after. At first, Cohen struck a deal with this office, pleading guilty to eight counts of finance-related charges. Among these charges were violations of campaign finance laws on behalf of Trump, who coordinated with Cohen on hush money payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, two women who claimed they had an affair with Trump prior to his campaign.

In November, Cohen struck a plea deal with Mueller when he disclosed the details of a potential Trump Tower in Moscow, a real estate venture that never came to fruition but nonetheless involved the Russian government. Even this deal couldn't save him from jail time.

It's worth noting that although these have been the most high-profile consequences of the Russia investigation, a total of thirty-three people have been indicted by or have plead guilty to Mueller -- including thirteen Russian citizens. If the arrest of a few advisers doesn't seem significant to you, that fact should make you think twice about the state of Trump's affairs.

The litany of investigations and lawsuits facing Trump brings us back to the original question: will Trump resign anytime soon? The answer may rely on how much immunity he has from the legal situations that surround him. Unfortunately, the extent of this immunity is unclear, given the lack of legal writing on presidential crimes. The Constitution does not say whether or not a president can be charged with crimes, though a recent opinion from the Department of Justice asserts that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Additionally, sitting presidents cannot be sued for official actions taken while in office, but personal and unofficial actions can be sued in a federal court. And let's not forget about the presidency's unlimited pardoning powers.

All in all, it's hard to bring a president to trial, and even harder to send them to jail. So maybe Trump isn't scared of his illegal past catching up to him, and maybe he won't find it necessary to resign. This decision would seem to fit his ego. But there's always the threat of impeachment, a possibility that's been brought up by eleven members of Congress and has support from 40% of Americans. Could this prompt resignation?

In any event, Trump remains the most unpopular US president to date. His approval ratings continue to reach new lows, and his frequent Twitter outbursts never cease to invite widespread criticism. Even if he doesn't resign, Trump's many legal battles ensure that he will never be held to the same standard as his more "presidential" predecessors.

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Bethel Church's Gay Conversion Program Is A Huge Problem And We're Not Talking Enough About It

Religion doesn't give us a right to purposefully abuse a community.

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About a year ago, in May of 2018, Bethel Church in Redding, California came out publicly against a set of proposed laws which would make it illegal for a licensed mental health professional to perform 'conversion therapy' in order to change the sexual orientation or same-sex attractions of a person. The head pastor of the church asked for members of Bethel Church to act against the three bills (California AB 1779, AB 2943 and AB 2119), urging them to contact their congressmen and ask for them to prevent the laws from passing, all in order for them to continue their harmful ex-gay ministry.

Today, Bethel Church is under scrutiny for the role out of their ex-gay conversion initiative, CHANGED. The website of the initiative movement claims that any change is possible through Jesus, and encourages those who identify as LGBTQ+ to abandon the "pain, rejection, and despair," of being LGBTQ+. (CHANGED website). This movement is not the first, but just the next in a long line of organizations claiming to provide change for those who identify as LGBTQ+, despite this being an impossibility. Ex-gay programs, in actuality, only serve to push those who go through them farther away from the love of God.

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people has been proven not only to be completely ineffective but has also been found to cause intense mental issues and in many cases, a strong correlation to suicide. Those who have gone through ex-gay therapy programs such as Exodus International or Focus on the Family's Love Won Out have admitted that even after successfully completing the program they had not experienced a change in their same-sex attraction. The founder of Exodus International even claimed that by his estimation, 99.9% of those who had gone through his organization's therapy had not experienced any change in their orientation. Exodus International was considered intensely controversial, and their methods considered by most, if not all, mental health professionals to be incredibly damaging. Those who come out of conversion therapy experience intense feelings of depression and often experience a lack of self-worth.

As a Christian, I grieve every single time someone claiming to believe what I do comes out and condemns the LGBT community. It hurts to see one community I am a member of being hateful towards another community I am just as proud to be a part of. This news stung a little harder because I for a long time have loved Bethel Church's worship band. Their songs have spoken to me in ways I cannot fully describe, helping to bring me closer to the God I believe in. A God who I can say for certain would never advocate for something as damaging and destructive as conversion therapy. The same Jesus who Bethel's songs worship is the same Jesus who calls us to love everyone. Bethel Church is not following this call, and it is important that we speak out against conversion therapy, and not allow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to carry out such a harmful program.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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