In How Many Impeachable Offenses Can A President Commit In Nine Days?, UM law grad Howard Brilliant lists (and documents) what he calls 18 impeachable offenses committed in nine days:
- Removing DNI & CJCS from NSC and replacing them with a white supremacist;
- Unconstitutional discrimination against legal immigrants- including visa holders, lawful permanent residents, and reportedly even some U.S. Citizens- based on religion and national origin;
- Undermining confidence in our democracy by perpetuating meritless allegations of voter fraud;
- Constant and repeated demonstrations of hostility to first amendment rights;
- Intentionally and repeatedly lying to the American public;
- Using the Office of President to enrich himself and members of his family;
- Operating with extensive conflicts of business and personal interests;
- Receiving emoluments from foreign governments;
- Refusal to release his tax returns;
- Violating his lease with GSA for the Old Post Office;
- Potential subjection to blackmail by a foreign intelligence service allegedly in possession of compromising material;
- Continued associations with individuals he knew or should have known possessed ties to hostile foreign governments;
- Blatant disregard for established governmental norms and protocols;
- Issuing executive orders against the advice of and/or without consulting the Office of Legal Counsel or other participants in the review process;
- Apparent defiance of court orders;
- Failure to rule out the use of torture;
- Suffering from mental instability and/or psychological impairment; and
- Being generally incompetent and unfit for office;
While I grasp that at the end of the day, grounds for impeachment may just be what two houses say it is, it seems to me that under a fair reading of the Constitution, most of these are not in fact impeachable offenses but just actions that are evil, stupid, or both.
Have a look and mark down which you think qualify, then take a look at my cull from the list:
I’d say that if proved, ‘only’ ##s 8, 10 & 15 would be clear grounds for impeachment with ##s 2 & 6 also possibilities. And #15 only gets there if Trump ordered it, which seems unlikely (so far).
But “lying to the American people” (#5), heck that was practically standard operating procedure for a number of recent administrations.
Important note: # 11 is off my list only so long as it is “potential”.
5 (I know that lying alone isn’t impeachable, but under the right circumstances it could be. I thought that G.W. Bush could have been impeached for the false justification that took us to the second Iraq war);
6 (but only if he is cheating somehow. Think, awarding contracts without open bids when such might be required, or other forms of good old fashioned graft);
11 (I assumed the “potential” was as in “alleged.” It would be up to the senate to determine if it actually happened).
15 is the closest to firm, but even then – Trump probably wouldn’t be the first.
12 is tricky, but I ended up leaving it off my list.
How about violation of U.S. Code › Title 50 › Chapter 44 › Subchapter I › § 3021 (a)6 by putting Steven K. Bannon on NSC without submitting him for Senate approval?