Richmond, Ca. City Council, on February 24, passed a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump for violating the emoluments clause. The emoluments clause, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8, in effect, was put in place to ensure that no official could abuse his or her position of power as a platform to either enrich oneself or to be used as a vehicle of foreign influence. There are many who believe that Mr. Trump, by not divesting himself fully of his many business investments and relationships with foreign companies, and particularly with foreign governments, has ignored this clause thus violating it. It is still in question, and in some sectors, apparently under investigation, as to whether he has removed himself sufficiently to avoid further accusations. Clearly, Richmond, Ca. is not the voice of the entire country, but, wait…there’s more.
The campaign to impeach the President actually began on inauguration day, January 20, 2017. On what charges is still rather vague, but a passing reference again to emoluments was made because of the newly opened Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Blvd. Which, although it bears his name, actually belongs to the government and is leased by Trump Holdings. Appearances are bad and Mr. Trump doesn’t understand that clearly, but the appearance of wrongdoing is not an impeachable offense. If the man could be impeached for being a disgusting, misogynistic, womanizing, lecher, we would have a case. But remember Bill Clinton? He was all of those things…while serving as an elected official. And while in the office of the President. But you can’t impeach a president for those things. Or because he is accused of being those things.
What is also not impeachable is writing an unpopular Executive Order. But that is what Joaquin Castro (D-Tx) spouted after he posited that Mr. Trump ordered border agents to ignore the judicial ruling that the immigration order could not be enforced because of the due process clause in the U.S. Constitution. The problem with this statement is that Mr. Trump, according to DHS agents, never told them not to enforce the ruling. Thus, Mr. Castro was calling for a Presidential Impeachment over an executive order. Which is not an impeachable offense. Otherwise, President Obama could have been impeached several times over per the Supreme Court rejection of his many failed attempts at executive overreach. Just sayin’.
You know what else does not merit impeachment? Petitions. There are approximately 850,000 people who have signed a petition demanding that President Trump be impeached. To be perfectly honest, there are many, many…MANY more than that who would like an impeachment to take place. But, folks, really? Does anyone think this is how it works? The whole idea of I-don’t-like-it-so-I’m-gonna-start-a-petition does not count when we are discussing impeachment. What happened to a basic understanding of civics? Does nobody understand how our government works anymore?
So that brings us to the question this article poses. What would impeachment achieve? Let’s look at history. President Richard Nixon was caught red-handed, on tape, discussing illegal breaking and entering the Watergate building for the purpose of gaining DNC records. The question of the day was, “What did Nixon know, and when did he know it?” Nixon denied knowledge, he lied, he obfuscated, he deflected…and then, the tapes.
Nixon was cornered and it was clear that an impeachment would be successful. He actually did the honorable thing and resigned. Gerald Ford assumed the Office and attempted to heal the country. An Impeachment proceeding would have further divided the country, would have made our nation a spectacle on the world stage for a much longer and more sustained period of time and dragged our economy, industry and trade down as well as further damaged our reputation and standing globally.
Fast forward to Bill Clinton. After his many years of alleged affairs with several women, Hillary’s abetting his cover-ups and shaming the women who came forward and even attacking those who accused him of abuse and rape, the Monica Lewinsky affair broke open and exposed both the Clintons for their deception over the years. Clinton lied, obfuscated and deflected. He looked into the cameras and stated that he had, “Never had sexual relations with that woman.” Then the evidence was presented. The blue dress. It was clear that Clinton was going to be impeached and likely it would be successful.
He refused to resign. Articles of impeachment were filed and Bill Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. And he did not step down and was then acquitted. He spent the rest of his presidency deflecting questions about Ms. Lewinsky and the impeachment. He lost his credibility. Mrs. Clinton was made a complete fool and worse, instead of a sympathetic figure, which any philanderer’s wife would merit, she became a cohort in crime. Someone who lied, not to protect a husband, but a devious, cold operative, bent on saving a political career. People still see her that way. That helped her lose to the degenerate we have in the Office today. What goes around, comes around.
The only other President to be impeached was way back in 1868. Andrew Johnson went against Congress wishes and dismissed Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton replacing him with Ulysses Grant. This angered Congress and they impeached under the Tenure of Office Act. The impeachment article cited “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach to the Congress of the United States.” Likewise, Johnson served out his term and was acquitted. So…there’s that.
So, the question remains…What would impeachment achieve in the case of the current occupant of the Oval Office? Does anyone, listening to the self-centered, narcissistic rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, truly believe that he would do what is best for the country if impeached? Would he put the country over the Donald? Why would he? As Bill Clinton believed that he, and only he, was the best person in the world to run the U.S. and wasn’t leaving over a little thing like lying, so will Donald Trump.
The personality flaw is the same.While it is true that where Bill Clinton had charm and charisma, Donald Trump has only vulgarity and soulless, life-sucking greed…the deep egotistical, self-serving, power-seeking need to be loved and in charge is the same. Impeachment is a folly, wasted on the foolish by folks who falsely believe it means anything to those who care for nothing beyond themselves. Time and money are better spent on pursuing solutions that are viable to unite our country and hold us together until we can once again regain our collective senses and elect someone to lead.