The constitutional ban on receiving gifts or benefits while in office from the U.S. government or state governments (domestic “emoluments” – Article II, Section 1) is absolute, not waivable by Congress, and not subject to proving any particular corrupting influence.
President Trump’s lease of the Old Post Office Building in Washington D.C. for his Trump International Hotel violates the General Services Administration lease contract which states: “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.” The GSA’s failure to enforce that contract constitutes an emolument. A January 16, 2019, report by the GSA Inspector General confirmed this.
The paragraphs above are derived from the first of 21 articles of impeachment that RootsAction has drafted for Donald Trump. RootsAction launched this campaign on the day Trump was inaugurated, over two years ago. It may be finally gaining traction.
Not only is Trump unconstitutionally owning and profiting from his hotel in the Old Post Office Building, as well as numerous less prominent emoluments from state governments and the federal government, but he is also using his hotel for further corruption.
When representatives of foreign governments book rooms at Trump’s hotel, he violates the foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the domestic one. Lobbyists for the Saudi government paid for at least 500 nights at Trump’s hotel in just a three-month period and Trump is now violating the will of Congress to ship deadly weapons to the Saudi government for use in the catastrophic war on Yemen.
When a wealthy Iraqi – with a record of receiving undisclosed sums from the CIA in exchange for “faulty” so-called “intelligence” that helped launch the war on Iraq – recently paid for 26 nights at Trump’s hotel, as Nahro al-Kasnazan did, we may get another war out of it. Kasnazan is lobbying Trump for a war on Iran. This is out in the open, published prominently by the Washington Post.
Recently CBS News President Susan Zirinsky was asked why journalists are failing to hold Trump accountable as Nixon was held accountable during the Watergate era. As awful as U.S. corporate media often are, it’s hard to argue with her response, which was basically this: Without a judiciary or a Congress that’s taking action, journalism of the sort that removed Nixon has no impact anymore.
Of course, if we go back to the Lyndon Johnson era to the time when the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened, while serious journalists like I.F. Stone were on the job, the corporate media was as useless as it is right now on lies about Iran.
What is it with warmongers and lies about ships? Everyone forgets FDR’s lies about the Greer and the Kearney, and Dick Cheney’s proposal to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians and shoot at them, but many remember the Lusitania, and many Remember the Maine! Of course, back in those days the video quality was superior to the Pentagon’s latest film from the Persian Gulf. Still, the good old reliable “fog” of war has always allowed for plenty of “mishaps.”
But the question is always the wrong one. What if Iran had attacked ships? Then prosecuting Iran in court for that crime would be appropriate. Committing a much, much larger crime after screaming about Iran’s crime for a little while would simply be the commission of an enormous crime.
But crime is a daily occurrence with U.S. presidents who’ve been promised immunity from impeachment.
My personal view of impeachment is this: for every Latin American child who dies in a cage, for every Middle Eastern home that’s bombed, for every year that’s taken off the habitability of the earth’s climate, you can take your bullshit theories of electoral justifications for not impeaching Trump and shove them up your assignment book. And if Iran is destroyed, you will have destroyed it. You will have blood up to your elbows. And I am not going to stand by and let you try to wash it off.