Maximum impeachment

O.T. Ford
O.T. Ford
Sep 26, 2019 · 5 min read
(Andrew Harnik, AP)

Donald Trump needs to be removed from office as soon as possible. He has always been and will continue to be a genuine threat to the entire world, not merely the United States, for as long as he remains in power. He is erratic, corrupt, impulsive, mentally impaired, uninformed, lazy, vindictive, and probably compromised by numerous foreign states. He is, in short, unfit for his responsibilities. Some of this would be grounds to remove him under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment; but that process, in addition to being debatable, requires the vice president, half the departmental secretaries, and two-thirds of each house of Congress.

Fortunately, there is a process that requires less Republican buy-in: impeachment. Also fortunately, Trump easily qualifies: he is a criminal. Trump should, indeed must, be impeached by the House of Representatives, and removed from office by the Senate. The Senate is controlled by Republicans and requires two-thirds of Senators to convict, so this process is unlikely to lead to his removal. But for that reason alone, Trump should be impeached for every known or suspected act that could be classified as treason, bribery, or a high crime or misdemeanor. The case should be overwhelming in law, as it is already overwhelming in fact. Beyond that, to fail to impeach him for significant corrupt or criminal acts would be to condone those acts, to suggest that they did not warrant impeachment. Trump must be the subject of maximum impeachment. Every possible charge must be laid out in detail, to give the full, correct impression of the thoroughgoing criminality of Donald Trump.

My own summary of the acts that should be included is divided into several categories, with occasional overlap. The summary will be updated as Trump’s crimes continue to be revealed, and as he inevitably commits more of them.


Subversion of elections

colluding with Russia, including knowingly using documents stolen by Russia, to win in 2016, and repeatedly denying or excusing Russia’s interference as president

— paying hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 election, through Michael Cohen

— soliciting two investigations from Ukraine: an investigation into a possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, and evidence for a conspiracy theory exonerating Russia in the 2016 hacks

— posting troops to the Mexican border immediately prior to the 2018 midterm elections to create the appearance of a crisis

— planning a citizenship question on the census to suppress Democratic votes and redistribute voting power and money away from Democratic districts

— using the Trump Foundation to collect money that was then used for campaign benefit


Abuse of power

— ordering illegal actions and promising pardons for them

— unauthorized or corrupt use of military resources: diverting military funds to border-wall construction; dispatching troops to the border as a 2018 election stunt; staging 2019 July 4 political event with military presence; directing military aircraft and personnel to support his personal properties

— pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden using Congressionally-authorized aid and a meeting as leverage, and concealing a call on the topic using a high-level security procedure

— requiring non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements from government employees

— selecting his own golf resort in Doral Florida to host a G-7 summit, granting himself millions in government revenue and significant publicity

— encouraging Israel to ban members of Congress Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar after Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions vote

— avoiding Senate advice and consent by relying on acting officials, and disregarding relevant statutes

— targeting Amazon in retaliation for Washington Post coverage

— asking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to request the Department of Justice drop a criminal case against Reza Zarrab, on behalf of Tayyip Erdoğan or Rudy Giuliani


Dereliction of duty

— routine dishonesty with the public

— negligent, even cruel, supervision of immigrant detention camps

— capitulation to Turkish attacks on Syrian Democratic Forces and associated civilians, after SDF provided the ground force to defeat ISIS, leading to direct risk to US troops as well

sabotaging the Affordable Care Act

— capricious, impulsive withdrawal from treaties and agreements — JCPOA, NAFTA, Paris, INF, Open Skies

— making concessions to Kim Jong Un (meetings; minimizing misdeeds; promise not to spy) for personal, not national-security, reasons

— abandonment of peace talks with the Taliban over personal credit

— tolerating and covering up the murder of US resident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the de facto Saudi head of government

— carelessness with government information: divulging Israeli secrets on ISIS to Russians in the Oval Office; conducting government business in the open at Mar-a-Lago; sharing spy-satellite photos of an Iranian accident

— tolerating/encouraging corruption and misconduct among his subordinates (Scott Pruitt, Tom Price, Wilbur Ross, Ryan Zinke, Kellyanne Conway)

— repeated actions against the press

— appointment of Mike Flynn as national security advisor after a warning that he was a security risk

— ordering security clearances for Jared Kushner and others with possible risks


Obstruction of justice as identified by the Mueller report

— pressuring FBI director Jim Comey to end the FBI investigation of Flynn

— interfering with the Russia investigation (urging against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal; demanding public exoneration from Comey and others)

— firing Comey

— attempting to discredit special counsel Bob Mueller and directing that he be fired

— pressuring Sessions, through Corey Lewandowski, to exonerate Trump and limit the Mueller investigation

— directing that e-mails on the 2016 June 9 Trump Tower meeting not be disclosed, and editing Don jr.’s statement on it

— further efforts to pressure Sessions to unrecuse and limit the Mueller investigation

— demanding a false denial from presidential counsel Don McGahn about firing Mueller

— witness tampering of Flynn, Paul Manafort, and others

— witness tampering of Cohen


Other obstruction of justice or Congress

— subverting the Department of Justice to protect himself and target his enemies (Andy McCabe, e.g.)

— failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas and the tax-return request, and to transmit the intelligence community whistleblower complaint to Congress

— blocking witnesses to Congress and the Mueller investigation

— dangling pardons to silence witnesses (Manafort; Roger Stone), and to encourage illegal behavior by subordinates

— suborning perjury/witness tampering

— stymying Ukrainian cooperation with Mueller investigation

— perjury by subordinates in the census citizenship case


Financial corruption after election and in office

— bribery: encouraging and accepting foreign/GOP/donor money at personal properties

— emoluments: taking money from foreign governments and US states through his personal properties

— taking foreign donations to inauguration

— directing public money (from the military and Secret Service) to personal properties

— promoting personal businesses with taxpayer money

— violating lease on his Washington hotel

— failing to disclose debt to Cohen over hush money


Crimes unrelated to the presidency

— rape and sexual assault

— tax fraud (family fraud and inheritance schemes; debt parking)

— Trump Foundation self-dealing

— Trump University fraud

O.T. Ford

Written by

O.T. Ford

Analyst, generalist, rationalist. PhD, geography (world culture/politics), UCLA. Also: http://the-stewardship.org/english/, http://otford.tumblr.com/.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade