Donald Trump will be impeached. The ostensible reason: He abused his power for personal domestic political advantage when requesting favors from Ukrainian officials. He compounded this offense with repeatedly obstructing Congressional investigations into this abuse. The real reason why he will be impeached is repeated abuse of his power to promote his self-interests over the interests of his constituents. He dispatched his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to Ukraine to pursue two self-serving goals: 1) find evidence to undermine the widely accepted narrative that Russia released stolen Democratic Party emails during the 2016 election to benefit Trump, and 2) induce Ukrainian officials to make Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden look like he had engaged in influence-peddling to help his son, Hunter. The first goal would bolster the legitimacy of his 2016 election; the second would improve his chances of winning in 2020. Trump claims that Giuliani was focused on the general problem of corruption in Ukraine, of which the Biden investigation was only a part. According to Ukrainian nonprofits actively fighting corruption, the U.S. ambassador at the time was a career foreign service officer much better positioned to carry out a general anti-corruption policy than Rudi Giuliani. But her presence interfered with Giuliani’s pursuit of Trump’s self-serving goals. So, he orchestrated a slanderous whispering campaign that resulted in her sudden, humiliating removal as ambassador. Unfortunately for Trump, her replacement was another career foreign service officer, who objected to what Giuliani was doing. The Constitution permits the removal of a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Misdemeanors include nonindictable wrongdoing. In other words, Donald Trump can be removed even if people believe he committed no felonious crime. Whether the transparent self-dealing in siting the next G7 conference at a Trump resort is a felony or a misdemeanor, it joins the obstructions of justice described in the Mueller report and the shakedown of President Zelensky of Ukraine as the inescapable pattern of a president deliberately misusing his power for personal benefit. Three years of repeatedly putting his interests above those of his constituents provides more than enough evidence to justify his removal.

William McCarthy

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