And as the editors of The Washington Post wrote, “In Helsinki, Mr. Trump again insisted ‘there was no collusion’ with Russia. Yet in refusing to acknowledge the plain facts about Russia’s behavior, while trashing his own country’s justice system, Mr. Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.”
In short, Trump committed impeachable offenses while standing on the stage next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in front of television cameras broadcasting to hundreds of millions of people around the globe.
Imagine if, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt gave a press conference, stating that he had just spoken to Japan’s Emperor, who assured him “it’s not Japan. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be… Emperor Hirohito was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
And what if Roosevelt went on to say, “maybe it was Japan – maybe it was France – maybe it was some Hawaiian kids playing with fireworks,” to paraphrase Trump’s prior obfuscations?
Under the Constitution, “Treason” is a high bar. Article III defines Treason as “levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Russia may be closer to an adversary than an enemy. But there’s no question that cyberwar against American democracy can be war as much a classical military attacks, nor that Trump gave Aid and Comfort to the country and its leader responsible for such cyberwarfare against the United States.
Even if one argues, despite the evidence, that the Constitutional threshold for “Treason” is not yet met, Trump has clearly committed other impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states that the President, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”
After Helsinki, it is now uncontestable that Trump has failed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, or indeed, the United States and its electoral system itself. To reiterate The Washington Post’s editorial, in Helsinki, “Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.”
The failure to defend our country is by itself enough to meet the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for impeachment.
The Russian election hacking and the actions of Trump’s family and close associates, if not Trump himself, has been so complex and multi-faceted that it’s sometimes difficult to keep it all straight—the Trump Tower meeting, Trump calling on Russia to hack and release Clinton’s emails, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions. George Papadopoulis, Carter Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Erik Prince, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, etc…etc…etc.
But with a single press conference with Putin, Trump has made it all simple. Trump has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the United States and its Constitution and has colluded with a hostile foreign power.
After today, any American political leader of any political party or ideology, who fails to call for and act on Trump’s impeachment and removal will live on in history in infamy.
It’s time for every patriotic American citizen of every political party or ideology to do everything in h/er power to demand that the House impeach, and the Senate convict, Donald Trump and remove him from office.
Call, write, and demonstrate at every Congressperson’s office and home; take to the streets (non-violently so as not to give aide and comfort to Trump’s remaining defenders); write letters to the editors; pass resolution in every state, city and town; talk to your friends and co-workers; write songs and make art. In short, do everything in your power to force Congress to act to impeach and remove Trump now.
Time’s Up, Donald!
Miles Mogulescu is an attorney, political activist and writer.