It has been almost six months since Senate Republicans refused to hold Trump accountable for the two articles of impeachment referred to them by the House. Senator Susan Collins of Maine didn’t attempt to defend the president’s actions, but instead, claimed that he had learned his lesson.
One month ago, Fred Hiatt set out to determine if there was any evidence that Collins was right. What he found was that Trump had committed four additional offenses that were worthy of an impeachment inquiry. This week, he revisited that list and added three more offenses, with updates to some of the original four. Here’s a summary of all of them.
Article 1: Negligence, leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans, in the handling of the novel coronavirus.
Article 2: Abuse of law enforcement powers, including both the use of force against peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square and in Portland, Oregon.
Article 3: Abuse of appointment power in seeking retribution against those who testified against him during the impeachment hearings.
Article 4: Abuse of power in foreign affairs. This includes both his willingness to ignore China’s treatment of the Uighurs in exchange for help with farmers during trade negotiations as well as the fact that he has totally ignored Russia placing bounties on the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Article 5: Abuse of power for personal enrichment in asking the ambassador to Britain to steer the British Open golf tournament to a Trump-owned resort in Scotland.
Article 6: Abuse of reprieve and pardon power in commuting the sentence of Roger Stone.
Article 7: Undermining faith in the electoral process by lying about fraud associated with mail-in ballots and a refusal to commit to abiding by the results of the election.
I would add an eighth article to the list: Failure to comply with Supreme Court rulings. In June, the Supreme Court refused to end the DACA program and also refused to dismiss the subpoenas from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for the release of Trump’s financial records. On the former, this is what is being reported by the Los Angeles Times.
President Trump is venturing onto increasingly shaky legal ground as officials reject new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, sidestepping a Supreme Court ruling reinstating DACA, legal experts and lawmakers say.
On releasing his financial records, the president is obviously stalling.
US President Donald Trump on Monday filed a new challenge to the Manhattan District Attorney’s subpoena for his tax returns, weeks after the United States Supreme Court said the president was not immune from state criminal probes.
In their new court papers, Trump’s lawyers said the subpoena of his tax records was “wildly overbroad” and “amounts to harassment of the President”.
So in less than six months, this president has committed eight offenses that would be deemed worthy of an impeachment investigation. It is worth noting that the attorney general is complicit in at least four of them (2,3,6, and 7). Perhaps in addition to tracking Trump’s lies, the Washington Post should set up a system of tracking his impeachable offenses leading up to January 20, 2021.
As Hiatt noted, all of these articles share one thing in common with the original articles of impeachment: “Putting personal, political gain above the interests and values of the nation.” So over the last six months, Collins has been proven terribly wrong and Representative Adam Schiff nailed it.
You can’t trust this president to do the right thing. Not for one minute. Not for one election. Not for the sake of our country. You just can’t. He will not change and you know it… He has betrayed our national security. He has compromised our elections. And he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less. And decency matters not at all.
None of this is to suggest that the House should start another round of impeachment hearings. With the election less than 100 days away and a pandemic ravaging the country, that would not be advisable. But history needs to be clear about this president’s crimes and misdemeanors, while Senate Republicans need to be held accountable for their complicity in allowing this to happen.