Okay, so I will have some readers who are pro-Trump. Personally, for what it’s worth, I am not for him. At all. Remotely.
But neither would I remotely vote for Mike Pence. He’s the rabid and demonic pimple growing on the arse of a megalomaniacal narcissist.
Yet, there seems to be more and more reason to think that Trump might get impeached when he gets into office, certainly if he continues in the way that he is going.
This is what the Independent recently reported:
Donald Trump could be impeached on his first day in office due to conflicts of interest that would arise from him running the country and maintaining his business at the same time, legal experts have warned.
Steven Schooner, a law professor at George Washington University, told MSNBC on Monday that because the President-elect does business in various countries, he could have an “impeachment issue” because there are “foreign states basically paying money to the Trump Organisation by using their hotels.”
Professor Schooner said: “The contract [with the General Services Administration] specifically says that no elected official of the United States government can share or benefit from the lease. It’s a 60-year lease with the GSA but the language is unequivocally clear.”
In order to open Trump International Hotel in Washington, Mr Trump entered into that contract, explained Mr Schooner, pointing to this as grounds for impeachment.
The law professor added: “The unequivocal message so far from the Trump Organisation is that ethics, conflicts of interest … in terms of ethical behaviour just don’t matter.”
It is not the first time law experts have warned Mr Trump that he could face breaching the constitution when he enters office with things as they stand.
On Sunday two top law professors urged Mr Trump to divest from his new hotel in Washington DC after it was allegedly used to entertain and give a sales pitch to foreign diplomats, potentially violating the US constitution as soon as he enters office
They warned he could be in breach of the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits presidents from buying influence with federal officials or receiving special treatment.
The clause states: “No person holding any office of profit or trust under” the United States “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
During his campaign Mr Trump agreed that, if elected, he would leave his businesses to be handled by his children.
In January, the businessman stated: “If I become president, I couldn’t care less about my company. It’s peanuts. I have Ivanka, and Eric, and Don sitting there. Run the company kids, have a good time.”
But since his presidential victory, his children have been seen sitting in on meetings and working with his transition team, indicating there will not be “necessary separation” between the future president and his business interests.
He doesn’t appear to be getting any more careful about his dealings and meetings and the way in which they appear to be primarily concerned with the successes of his business ventures. The Atlantic has listed a crib sheet of conflicts of interest:
- That Las Vegas Labor Dispute
- That Blind-Trust Issue
- That Hotel in Washington, D.C.
- That Argentinian Office Building
- Those Companies in Saudi Arabia
- That British Wind Farm
- Those Indian Business Partners
- That Envoy From the Philippines
Indeed, The New Yorker sums up:
But in one area Trump has been clear: he will continue to use his election to advance his business interests. In a single week, there have been more unprecedented conflicts of interest uncovered than a typical President faces in a full term in office. To summarize:
* Trump, in a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “praised one of his Turkish business partners as a ‘close friend’ and ‘your great admirer.’ ”
* Trump asked a British politician about wind farms that are ruining the view of a Trump golf course in Scotland.
* Trump’s children discussed “additional projects” in the “Philippine resort and leisure sector” with the new Philippine envoy, who happens to be a Trump business partner.
* Trump will soon oversee the Justice Department’s case against Deutsche Bank, Trump’s biggest lender, which stands accused of major abuses during the housing-loan crisis and whose demise could damage Trump’s business empire.
* Salesmen at Trump International Hotel in Washington recently held an event marketing the hotel to diplomats, one of whom told the Washington Post, “Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel, blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new President, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’ “
* Trump and his children recently met with Trump’s Indian business partners and discussed U.S.-India policy.
* Trump told President Ilham Aliyev, the autocratic ruler of Azerbaijan, where a Trump hotel project has been stalled, “that he heard very good words about” him, “and wished the head of state success in his activities,” according to Azerbaijan’s official news service.
* Trump included his daughter Ivanka, one of his three adult children to whom he is allegedly turning over his company, in a meeting with Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister.
* Trump and Ivanka took a congratulatory call from Mauricio Macri, the President of Argentina, and a few days later a long-stalled Trump project in Buenos Aires reportedly became unstuck.
Whatever one’s ideological views of Trump’s appointments and policies, his cavalier attitude about mixing business and the Presidency is on par with what is normal only in a Third World kleptocracy. And, unlike his policy views, which seemed malleable during the Times interview, Trump was steadfast about his views on mixing business and government.
“The law is totally on my side,” he said. “Meaning, the President can’t have a conflict of interest.”
One of these was an open admission of Trump of getting involved with policy that will affect his own business interests all the way over in Scotland, at his golf course.
“I might have brought it up,” Trump says of Farage meeting and wind farms.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Washington Post report this, quoting also from the New York Times:
In saying this, Trump may have flatly and openly admitted to a conflict of interest, according to Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Trump’s admission that he “might have brought up” wind farms in his meeting with Nigel Farage is a reference to today’s New York Times story reporting this:
When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present.
The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it….
“He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views,” said Andy Wigmore, the media consultant who was present at the meeting and was photographed with Mr. Trump.
A Trump spokesperson initially told the Times that this didn’t happen, but then declined to comment on the fact that a witness had claimed it had:
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump’s transition office, at first disputed that Mr. Trump had raised the subject of wind farms with Mr. Farage, suggesting that participants in the conversation “denied this took place.” However, when pressed with the fact that one of the meeting’s attendees, Mr. Wigmore, had described the conversation in detail, she declined repeated requests to comment.
The problem is that if he does get impeached, then you get Mike Pence and Paul Ryan. As I saw one commenter state:
We need instability and confusion at the top; it’s better than Pence, who would know exactly what to do.
Is it better, if you are inclined towards a Democratic presidency, that Trump stays as a buffoon leader who screws it all up, or that he is impeached, and we get a religious wingnut, intent on pulling apart human and civil rights, the environment and the secular state?
Say what you like about Trump, he ain’t big on mentioning God. He’s just a narcissist who will say whatever he thinks the right people want to hear.