(Feb. 3) Here is the case for removing Donald Trump, in 90 words, with illegalities or illegal-equivalents numbered:

Trump took taxpayer money that was illegal to hold and (1) held it, without informing Congress as required by law…while pressuring a foreign government to conduct two bogus investigations, one of them on an allegation thoroughly debunked and one of them (2) not legal to ask for…so as to (3) extort a foreign government for (4) a “thing of value” for his campaign. In the process, he undermined U.S. sovereignty and the civil rights of U.S. citizens. Then he repeatedly misled the American public about all of it.

There — those, above, are the 90 words.

And that bill of goods doesn’t even to mention his legal but entirely crass and improper mistreatment of a U.S. ambassador while asking non-governmental bag men to arrange it via a smear campaign, rather than simply use ordinary executive power to remove her with the dignity appropriate to her many years of public service.

Number (3) above is clearly akin to the “bribery” part of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” that the Constitution lays out as evictable offenses. Worse, the reality that the form of extortionary behavior (again, colloquially speaking) in which Trump engaged actually tied together a series of other improper actions, one of them illegal and one not legally authorized, makes the whole package a major abuse of power easily meriting removal from office. It also helps to remember that by urging foreign prosecution of U.S. citizens (the Bidens) not otherwise accused of breaking U.S. law, Trump would put those citizens at legal risk without the ordinary civil protections afforded by the Bill of Rights.

The Republican senators have already made up their minds, so it’s not worth it to belabor the overwhelming evidence for each of the points above, other than to urge readers to follow the internal links provided in each sentence….

[The full column is here.]


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