Former GOP Rep. Tom Coleman, from Missouri, penned a powerful Op-Ed that appeared in The Kansas City Star Wednesday. In it he calls not only for the impeachment of the pretender Trump, but also his chief enabler, V.P. Pence and says their installation in the two top positions in the executive branch was illegitimate.
“According to the redacted Mueller report, candidate Donald Trump, along with members of his team, on multiple occasions welcomed Russian interference on his behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign. For example, the report details a meeting between the Trump campaign chairman and a Russian intelligence asset where polling information and campaign strategy were shared.
While Mueller did not find sufficient evidence that Trump or his campaign had violated a criminal statute, the net effect was that the Trump campaign encouraged a foreign adversary to use and misrepresent stolen information on social media platforms to defraud U.S. voters. Because the presidency was won in this way, the president’s election victory brought forth nothing less than an illegitimate presidency…
…Because DOJ regulations put a president above the law while in office, I believe the only viable option available is for the House of Representatives, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, to open its own investigation, hold public hearings and then determine if they should pursue removal of the president through impeachment. There is a trove of evidence in the Mueller report indicating Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses, including abuse of power and lying to the American public. Both were part of the articles of impeachment brought against President Richard Nixon. This process would allow a full public review of wrongdoing, while providing Americans an opportunity to obtain a better understanding of the consequences to our national security and the lingering threat to our democracy.
If this process leads to impeaching Trump in the House of Representatives and also results in convicting him in the Senate, his illegitimacy would survive through Vice President Mike Pence’s succession to the presidency. Because the misdeeds were conducted to assure the entire Trump-Pence ticket was elected, both former candidates — Pence as well as Trump — have been disgraced and discredited. To hand the presidency to an illegitimate vice president would be to approve and reward the wrongdoing while the lingering stench of corruption would trail any Pence administration, guaranteeing an untenable presidency. If Trump is impeached, then Pence should not be allowed to become president. The vice president should resign or be impeached as well if for no other reason that he has been the chief enabler for this illegitimate president.”
Coleman is sympathetic to the argument that impeachment might initially be unpopular but insists that political calculations should take a back seat to the well being of the country, as well as basic morality.
And he posits a dire prediction should the House fail to pursue its Constitutional duty:
“What if House Democrats decide not to embark on impeachment? If that were the case, I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than the Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country. It could hand Trump a second term. Failure to pursue impeachment is to condone wrongdoing. To condone wrongdoing is to encourage more of it. To encourage wrongdoing is to give up on the rule of law and our democracy. To give up on the rule of law and democracy invites autocracy and eventually dictatorship. History has taught us this outcome. In my lifetime, it has occurred in other places including the Soviet Union and Germany, as well as in Russia and Venezuela today.”
And who can doubt the validity of his argument?
As we’ve seen just this week, with the espionage charges leveled against Julian Assange, meant to chill investigative journalism and possibly to prevent his extradition to the U.S. so that he cannot be called to testify to the Trump campaign’s possible complicity in his crimes, and bestowing upon his puppet Attorney General powers to cherry-pick and declassify Intelligence Community info selectively to mimic the methods of the once Devin Nunes controlled House Intelligence Committee, Trump will continue to law break with impunity while further endangering our Republic.
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