Donald Trump's 8 Impeachable Offenses


Obstructing Justice

  • After taking office, Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to abandon the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—which the FBI had already connected to Michael Flynn.
  • When Comey refused to alter course, Trump fired him.
  • Trump then admitted the firing was over “the Russia thing” in a televised interview.
  • In a tweet months later, he stated that he “had to fire Michael Flynn because he lied to the FBI”— further affirming that he dismissed James Comey in an attempt to quash the FBI’s investigation.

Bottom line: Trump has repeatedly attempted to interfere in the Russia investigation, and admitted as much—that’s a clear case of obstructing justice.

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Violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution

  • The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits the president from accepting personal benefits from any foreign government or official.
  • Trump has retained his ownership interests in his family business while he is in office.
  • Thus, every time a foreign official stays at a Trump hotel, or a foreign government approves a new Trump Organization project, or grants a trademark, Trump is in violation of the Constitution.
    • For example: shortly after he was sworn into office, the Chinese government
      gave preliminary approval to 38 trademarks of Trump’s name. Then, in June, China approved nine Donald Trump trademarks they had previously rejected.
  • And every time he goes to golf at a Trump property, he funnels taxpayer money into his family business—violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

Bottom line: Because Trump never divested from his business interests, he violates the Constitution every time the Trump Organization has business dealings with foreign or American government officials.


Conspiring with Others to Commit Crimes Against the United States, and Attempting to Conceal Those Violations

  • In the middle of the 2016 election, Trump’s son was invited to meet with a Russian national regarding “information that would incriminate Hillary and…would be very useful to” Donald Trump
  • The Russian, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had ties to high-ranking Kremlin officials.
  • Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner took the meeting, offering a change to the 2012 Magnitsky Law in return for dirt on Clinton.
  • Federal law prohibits campaigns from soliciting anything of value from a foreign national.
  • After journalists broke this story, Trump personally dictated a public statement on behalf of his son that lied about the intended purpose of the meeting.
  • This relationship between the Trump team and the Russian national raises questions of whether the campaign aided a hostile foreign power’s active operation against the United States.

Bottom line: Trump tried to cover up a his campaign’s contacts with a Russian national—which, at very least, constituted a violation of federal law.


Advocating Violence and Undermining Equal Protection Under the Law

  • When Trump gave cover to the neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville and murdered a protester, he violated his obligation to protect the citizenry against domestic violence.
  • When Trump encouraged police officers to rough up people they have under arrest, he violated his obligation to oversee faithful execution of the laws.
  • When Trump shared anti-Muslim content on Twitter, he violated his obligation to uphold equal protection of the laws.
  • This represents a pattern of disregard for some of the president’s basic responsibilities as defined by the Constitution.

Bottom line: Trump has demonstrated a pattern of behavior amounting to advocating violence, undercutting equal protection, and, as a result, failing basic Constitutional duties.


Abusing the Pardon Power

  • President Trump’s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio amounted to an abuse of the pardon power that revealed his indifference to individual rights and equal protections.
  • Joe Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court after ignoring a court order that he stop detaining and searching people based on the color of their skin, which constitutes a violation of their rights.
  • Pardoning this conviction goes against the Fifth Amendment, which allows the judiciary to issue and enforce injunctions against government officials who flout individual rights.

Bottom line: Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio violates the Fifth Amendment and harms the guarantee of Constitutional rights.


Engaging in Conduct that Grossly Endangers the Peace and Security of the United States

  • High-ranking administration officials involved in foreign affairs have signaled that Trump does not have the capacity to make informed decisions in the event of a military crisis.
  • Even worse, his actions could spark a needless confrontation stemming from misunderstanding or miscalculation.
  • We see this in full effect every time Trump tweets or makes a public statement taunting and threatening the North Korean regime.
  • The president may be the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” but that does not give him the right to behave in reckless or wanton ways that put millions of lives at risk.
  • If he is unfit to perform his duties as Commander in Chief, he cannot be allowed to remain in the position.

Bottom line: Trump cannot be permitted to recklessly and needlessly endanger millions of Americans with his unstable behavior.


Directing Law Enforcement to Investigate and Prosecute Political Adversaries for Improper and Unjustifiable Purposes

  • President Trump has repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate and prosecute political adversaries like Hillary Clinton.
  • This is not based in concerns with national security, law enforcement, or any other function of his office—it is an attempted power play, plain and simple.
  • There’s no question that this constitutes an outrageous and inappropriate abuse of executive branch powers and serves as clear grounds for impeachment.

Bottom line: Trump’s threats against political opponents are threats against American democracy.


Undermining the Freedom of the Press

  • President Trump has repeatedly attacked the concept of an independent press.
  • He’s called critical coverage “fake news” and journalists “the enemy of the American people,” made threats to change libel laws and revoke licenses, and his battles with CNN led him to try to interfere in the AT&T/Time Warner merger.
  • This demonstrates his unwillingness to respect and uphold the Constitution, and disdain for the crucial foundations to our free society.

Bottom line: Trump’s threats against freedom of the press are also threats against American democracy.