Posts Tagged ‘Travel Ban’

Yes, folks, there’s blood in the water, the sharks are circling, and there’s talk of IMPEACHMENT! Don’t ya know. High crimes and misdemeanors. All manner of gross malfeasance and treasonous machinations. A threat to our very Republic he is. So. Let’s take a look at: The Case Against Trump.

1) Trump Said Mean Things About Obama

According to PoliticsUSA, Pres. Trump may have committed an impeachable offense by claiming that Obama wire-tapped him. Apparently this violates some legal precept not actually named in the article, but clearly, making a “false” claim about a previous President is the next best thing to selling secrets to Wikileaks. Except…

As it turns out, Pres Obama didn’t have to order the surveillance of Donald Trump and his election team, because he knew it was already ongoing. So, as President, all the honorable Mr. Obama had to do was request the intercepts of illegal NSA spying on American citizens, and get anything that had “Trump” meta-tagged on it. So, yes, while technically correct that then Pres. Obama did not “order the wire-tapping” of the Trump transition team, it’s a simple, demonstrable fact that he acquired surveillance information on them. So, yes, please, let’s talk about the impeachability of impugning the reputation of a former President, while completely ignoring the fact that the NSA, operating under the Obama administration, conducted illegal surveillance on US citizens, and then “unmasked” said citizens names in violation of both precedent and federal law. NONE of which, but the way, was related to Russia.

Impeachment Score: Weeeeak.

2) Chinese Trademark Keffuffle

And again, our friends from across the pond, with their keen and insightful grasp of US Constitutional law, insist that, after a 10-year legal battle, the Chinese finally granting a contentious trademark decision to Trump, Inc. within days of Trump becoming President is impeachable. Like, totally, dude. As a side note, this same article suggests that being mean to the media is an impeachable offense because it violates the 1st Amendment. Or something. You know what, I’m not even going to talk about this ridiculous smear of yellow journalism anymore. Ptooie.

A slightly more credible source (no, seriously, read this article, it’s incredibly informative and well-balanced) highlights the fact that the this potential conflict of interest could potentially violate the Emoluments Clause which, “prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility, and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress.(Wikipedia)”  HOWEVER!

This arguably deals with the practice of naming an US government official as an officer, noble, or other binding title to a foreign nation, thus engendering a conflicting loyalty or claim to a foreign power. The question then becomes, is the granting of a trademark equivalent to the awarding of a Duchy? Or perhaps more germane, was the granting of this trademark intended as a “gift” to the President? Was it intended as a bribe to curry favor? In order to make this an impeachable offense, one would, I suggest, have to provide compelling evidence of both the former and the latter. Neither of which has, to date, been presented.

The other question I would propose, in my role as a woefully uneducated layman, is what would Pres. Trump’s detractors have him do in this situation? Trump Enterprises is an ongoing concern. Management of this enterprise has been transferred to his son. Is it the expectation that if a business man becomes President for four years, he must divest himself of all business-related holdings acquired over a lifetime? Should Pres. Trump have rejected the Chinese government’s approval of the trademark after a ten year legal fight? How do you “not accept” a trademark decision like this in your favor? The simple reality is that while there may be a suggestion of impropriety here, it may also be completely circumstantial. If there was a compelling case to be made, would it not have already BEEN made? More importantly, can it be proven that Donald J. Trump used the influence of his Office to influence the Chinese in order to secure these trademarks? If so, such evidence has yet to surface. The fact that Trump turned right around and played nice with Taiwan thereby stretching and bending China’s long-standing “One China” policy suggests otherwise.

Impeachment Score: Really Weak.

3) President Trump’s “Travel Ban” Was Unconstitutional. Or something.

So, to state the painfully obvious, let’s at least get the terms and conditions straight here. It was not a Muslim ban. It was not a travel ban. It was 120-day moratorium on travel (Click it. No, really. Have you actually read the thing? Didn’t think so.) from seven specific countries that bleed jihadists like a hemophiliac Imam. So, to review: Ban = permanent, i.e. – a revocation. Moratorium = temporary, i.e. – a suspension. Any questions? No? Good.

Just a taste:

“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”(emphasis mine)

But wait. TRUMP MYSOGONIST RACIST HOMOPHOBE GURGLE CHOKE FROTH!! Right?!  Ooooops.

The chest beaters on this one imply that it was either, a) a violation of the First Amendment, to whit, the free exercise of religion (yes, it hurts my brain, too), or b) Pres. Trump “exceeded his Constitutional Authority (yes, it’s those UK Constitutional scholars again).  Well, for starters, the travel moratorium did not identify a specific religion. Because the restriction dealt with predominantly Muslim countries, it was heralded as a “Muslim Ban!11!!11!” Except that, there are upwards of 50 Muslim-majority countries, and this travel restriction deals with only…seven.

Immigration and travel restrictions are nothing new. And while it can certain be argued that Pres. Trump blocking existing green card holders was both ill-considered and incredibly poorly implemented, is it really outside the power of the President? Is it really a violation of the President’s Constitutional authority? No. While potentially distasteful, it is not illegal.

Newsflash folks: As a sovereign nation, we get to decide who can come in.

Impeachment Score: I can’t even.

4) Comey Over.

And, of course, mean ol’ D.J. fired FBI Director Comey right before he was ready to drop the hammer on the Trump administration with a full-blown investigation into collusion with Russian meddling in the election. So, let ring forth the calls for a Special Prosecutor to…uh…uh…find out some stuff!

The move to fire the sitting FBI Director during a contentious period where investigations into the Trump-Russia connection were actually underway, but had revealed no actual evidence of collusion, is seen as a “Constitutional crisis.” Except, (insert money quote):

But neither thinks that the Comey firing counts, since there’s absolutely no dispute over Trump’s legal authority to remove Comey from his position. “This is not (yet) a constitutional crisis, since there’s no doubt about his authority to fire Comey,” Levinson told Politico.

Oops. Would appear not to be impeachable. Damnit.

But wait! That paragon of objective journalism (trigger warning) Think Progress, lets us know that it can be both legal AND impeachable! Somehow.

“Constitutional law experts say that while President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey was legal, it appears to be an abuse of power that could constitute an impeachable offense.”

The problem I have with this approach is two-fold. One, Pres. Trump did not disband the FBI. He did not place a gag-order or any other restrictions on agents within the FBI from conducting or continuing any investigation into any potential “Russian Connection©.” Moreover, less than a year ago the same Democrats who are now calling for Trump’s head over Comey’s firing, were calling for Comey’s head over his release of Hillary Clinton emails just prior to election day. So, Director Comey effectively outed himself as both partisan and politicized. Despite his arguable competence, he had lost the confidence of those both within and without his organization as to his objectivity. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a Very Bad Thing when it comes to the top law enforcement official in the land.

And, oh by the way, President William Jefferson Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions in 1993 for what he felt to be “ethical lapses” in his conduct. So this is not “unprecedented.” Strangely, there were no cries for impeachment then.

All that said, the FBI Director is a political appointee, and serves, “at the pleasure of the President.” So, despite the long-standing precedent that the Director serves his 10-year terms, the President, legally, doesn’t need a reason at all to fire him.

Impeachment Score: Close, but no cigar.

In Conclusion:

Every bit of research  I made into this post was rife with hypotheticals and technicalities. A lot of “mights” and “coulds” and “feasiblies.” I searched news sites, blogs, academic analyses, wikis and archives. The simple fact is this: as much as you may want it to be true, as much as you NEED it to be true, President Donald J. Trump, however morally corrupt or bankrupt you find him, however distasteful you find his policies and politics, however much you long to see him strung up from the yardarm or boiled in oil, simply hasn’t done anything (yet) that’s truly impeachable. He’s walking a fine line, and we can only wonder what tomorrow will bring, but from what I can so, so far it’s a lot of reaching and innuendo without any prosecutable evidence.

Buy hey, keep trying. Never know, you might get lucky yet.