Let’s Hope Only Two Articles Of Impeachment Are Sufficient

Well, it happened.

On Tuesday, representative members of the 116 Congress formally announced articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.

This is an historic moment.

Only three prior presidents have been subjected to this constitutional atomic bomb: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974, and Bill Clinton in 1998 (almost 21 years to the day).

We will remember this.

Historians will write and lecture about it for generations.

Yet, as monumental as this is, it’s important to note, of all the high crimes and misdemeanors Donald Trump is committing each day he remains in office, and the perfidy he is guilty of that makes Richard Nixon look like a petty thief, there are only two articles of impeachment filed against Trump.

Two.

That’s it.

They are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Not included: obstruction of justice pertaining to attempting to thwart the Mueller investigation; abuse of the president’s pardon power; civil rights abuses; inappropriate diversion of public funds; behavior unbecoming of a president; lying to the public; and daily emoluments clause violations.

In light of the fact that never in our history have we had a president so arrogant and corrupt, whose myriad crimes are so flagrant, some are wondering why there are only two impeachment counts.

If Trump is so bad, surely his behavior warrants more.

Public advocate and 2000 Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader posits in a Common Dreams op-ed titled “Why Not Also Go With ‘The Kitchen Table’ Impeachable Offenses for Removal?

“Will the Democrats move to impeach Trump for a narrow brace of violations and accept that the Senate Republicans will keep this outlaw in the White House? Or will they present the Senate with the President’s many proven impeachable offenses, thereby requiring the Senate Republicans, before live national television, in a public trial to defend Trump’s indefensible behavior?”

He explains:

“The ‘abuse of the public trust’ was stated by Alexander Hamilton as one definition of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ or an impeachable offense. Trump’s abuses provide deep evidence that he is (1) a serial, chronic, daily liar on matters of state, (2) a serial sexual predator, (3) a racist bigot, as demonstrated by his programs and policies, and (4) one who incites violence at rallies and in his tweets. Taken together, these abuses as an article of impeachment should be put before the Senate for them to defend. Millions of citizens will understand from their own core values that our country should shed this arrogant disgrace from our White House–through removal from office in the impeachment trial.

“Another impeachment article should deal with Trump’s corruption in appointing henchmen to head health, safety and economic protection agencies with the objective of dismantling and disabling the laws enacted by Congress.

“Then there is the loud desire to enrich himself by using the magnetic power of his office to attract patrons to his hotels and other properties in search of favors. Unlike past presidents, Trump defiantly retains direct profit seeking ownership of his businesses, leading to violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

“He has also threatened unilateral wars, which can only be declared by Congress, not by him, under our Constitution. He illegally sends armed forces anywhere he wants to destroy anyone he wants–prosecutor, judge, jury and executor all in one. More and more Americans are turning against the bankrupting military policies that only create more enemies and quagmires. Even conservatives are upset by Trump’s imperialistic acts.”

Progressive talk radio show host and author Thom Hartmann agrees impeachment must include every crime Trump has every committed while in office.

Might the Democrats be once again doing what Democrats are so often criticized for–playing it too safe, failing to go bold?

Believe it or not, there are even some Democrats–Democrats!–who have actually proposed censuring Trump in lieu of impeaching him.

House Democrats considered the “kitchen sink” approach and decided to zero in on just the two articles.

By focusing in on just abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Democrats are making absolutely certain nothing for which Trump is accused will be lost in the morass of a prolonged impeachment process.

By presenting a litany of abuses, there will be more with which Republicans can argue and drag out the proceedings. The longer they are, the longer Trump remains in office.

As article one of the impeachment resolution reads:

“President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

But remaining laser focused on just the most succinct charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, House Democrats have a potentially better chance of making their impeachment concise, iron-clad, articulate–and swift.

And the faster will come Trump’s imminent impeachment and Senate trial.

In a perfect world, we would be throwing the “kitchen sink” at Trump.

If anyone in history deserves it, it is he.

Let’s hope House Democrats know what they’re doing.

Republicans have mastered the art of playing dirty, and, although we respect Democrats for not deigning to their level, Democrats’ affable, conciliatory approach has too often  backfired.

Let’s hope this is different.

We can’t screw this up.

Image credit: govtrackinsider.com

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