“It’s truly tragic.”
Democracy Now! (12/16/9)
Donald Trump is set to become the third president to be impeached when the Democrat-controlled House votes Wednesday on two charges related to his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. The vote will send the charges to the Republican-controlled Senate, which will then hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office. Witnesses who could be called to testify include former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Early Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released its full report on Trump’s impeachment that is nearly 700 pages and explains in four parts the committee’s justification for recommending two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A new Fox News poll says 54% of Americans want Trump impeached, and 50% want him impeached and removed.
We speak with Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate, who says the articles of impeachment against Trump are “far too narrow and perilous.” Congress has “come forward with a very narrow hand … for the most impeachable president of all time,” he says.
Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses That Directly Hurt Americans For Removal?
By Ralph Nader
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?
Let’s start with the signal statement by Trump: “Then I have Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.” For almost three years, he has proceeded to engage in monarchical unconstitutional behavior in far more repeated, brazen ways than any preceding president. It is not even close.
Failure by Congress to prevent devastating precedents from being invoked and followed by future presidents will create a legacy of disgrace for Congress.
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.
Directly endangering citizens
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. Trump is bad for you when you breathe the air, drink the water, eat chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and fruit or work in hazardous places. Children are being exposed to dangerous pesticides, borrowers are being ripped off by financial companies and students are snagged by student loan traps and for-profit colleges. Trump sides with corporate criminals and fraudsters, and he expands crony capitalism with corporate welfare with your tax dollars. This is no mere de-regulation here and there. This is wholesale removal of the federal cops from the corporate crime beat and leaving you defenseless. Openly rejecting his constitutional duty to “faithfully” execute the laws is a major impeachable offense.
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.
These are continual impeachable violations that the House of Representatives can make graphic and persuasive to millions of Americans who believe in the rule of law.
‘Kitchen table’ offenses
Important as the crooked attempt to bribe Ukraine to enhance his re-election campaign is – something Trump will continue to pursue given his past requests that Russia and China help him against his electoral opponents, this gross behavior has not moved the needle of public opinion. It is viewed as remote from the “kitchen table” concerns of voters. This is not the case with other documented impeachable offenses. …