My letter to Larry Flynt on Trump Impeachment

Larry Flynt,

Your grounds for impeachment #s 2 through 6 (plus that of the paragraph that follows them) are already documented by overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence. What is required is to recognize that and to remove from the list the impediment of the ground you have placed as #1 which helps create the illusion of requiring more information, which risks increased militarism, and which could derail this entire impeachment project due to the lack of evidence for any of its central claims.

That’s not all that’s required. You’ll recall that a number of Democrats gave out the idea that they would impeach Bush and end one of his wars if elected in 2006. Once handed the majority they proceeded to do the exact opposite. What’s required now is to get clear commitments that Representatives can be held to that they support immediate impeachment and will continue to support it.

Several years back, I led a team of authors drafting articles of impeachment against then-President George W. Bush for then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich. We drafted over 60 and settled on the best 35. Had Congress moved forward, it would not have passed all 35 or convicted on them. But we felt it was important to establish the record and present the options. In fact, I would have preferred to go with more than 35, including a wider range of topics. The fact that someone has abused power in 10 ways should constitute no license to abuse it in an 11th way.I am aware of the general horror of Mike Pence, but a country that impeached and removed presidents would be a very different country in which the next president would have to behave or face impeachment and removal in turn. Fear of the next person will look ever weaker as grounds for allowing the current person to destroy things as he proceeds with his destruction.I’m further aware that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s team wants Trump around more than the Republicans do, so that the Democrats can “oppose” him. The task before the public is to compel members of both major parties to impeach, not to sit back and observe them doing so of their own volition.

Although several potential articles of impeachment against Trump stand very strongly on their own, and picking any one of them would be sufficient, the very strongest case for impeachment is a cumulative one. I cannot predict which articles, if any, will gain the most popular or Congressional support. I am, therefore, collecting the strongest ones available at FireDonaldTrump.org. I will add more as the crime wave rolls on. I pushed for impeachment of Bush and of Obama for some similar offenses and some completely different ones. Many of Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors are unprecedented. Most are not identical to the abuses by those who have gone before him.

I. Domestic Emoluments

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has illegally received emoluments from the United States government and from individual state governments.

The Constitutional ban on domestic emoluments 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. 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.

Since 1980 Trump and his businesses have garnered, according to the New York Times, “$885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York.” Those subsidies from the state of New York have continued since President Trump took office and constitute emoluments.

In these and many similar actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

II. Foreign Emoluments

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has illegally received emoluments from foreign governments. Foreign emoluments are banned by the U.S. Constitution.

Donald J. Trump’s business has licensing deals with two Trump Towers in Istanbul, Turkey. Donald J. Trump has stated: “I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul.”

China’s state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower in New York City. It is also a major lender to Donald J. Trump. Its rent payments and its loans put President Trump in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Foreign diplomats, including the Embassy of Kuwait, have changed their Washington D.C. hotel and event reservations to Trump International Hotel following Donald J. Trump’s election to public office.

In these and many similar actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

III. Incitement of Violence Within the United States

In his conduct while President of the United States, and while campaigning for election to that office, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has illegally incited violence within the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brandenberg v. Ohio in 1969 that “advocacy directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action . . . likely to incite or produce such action” is not protected by the First Amendment.

An incomplete sampling of public statements by candidate Donald J. Trump:

“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

“Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

“See, in the good old days this doesn’t happen, because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily.”

“You know what I hate? There’s a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days—you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

“See the first group, I was nice. Oh, take your time. The second group, I was pretty nice. The third group, I’ll be a little more violent. And the fourth group, I’ll say get the hell out of here!”

“I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.”

“You see, in the good old days, law enforcement acted a lot quicker than this. A lot quicker. In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast — but today, everybody’s politically correct.”

“He was swinging, he was hitting people, and the audience hit back. That’s what we need more of.”

Numerous incidents of violence followed these comments. John Franklin McGraw punched a man in the face at a Trump event, and then told Inside Edition that “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” Donald J. Trump said that he was considering paying McGraw’s legal bills.

Since Trump’s election and inauguration, his comments appearing to incite violence have continued, as have incidents of violence in which those participating in violence have pointed to Trump as justification.

On July 2, 2017, President Donald J. Trump tweeted a video of himself body slamming a man with an image of “CNN” superimposed on him.

In August 2017, participants in a racist rally in Charlottesville, Va., credited President Trump with boosting their cause. Their violence included actions that have led to a murder charge. President Trump publicly minimized the offense and sought to blame “many sides.”

In these and similar actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

IV. Voter Intimidation

In his conduct while President of the United States, and while campaigning for election to that office, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has engaged in acts of voter intimidation and suppression.

For months leading up to the November 2016 elections, Donald J. Trump publicly encouraged his supporters, the same ones he had encouraged to engage in violence, to patrol polling places in search of participants in the virtually nonexistent practice of voter fraud. In so doing, candidate Trump made would-be voters aware that they might face such patrols. His remarks included:

“I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th, go around and look and watch other polling places, and make sure that it’s 100 percent fine.”

“We’re going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”

Trump urged supporters to target Philadelphia, St. Louis, and other cities with large minority populations.

He created on his campaign website a way to sign up to “volunteer to be a Trump election observer.”

When early voting began, incidents were reported of Trump supporters photographing voters and otherwise intimidating them.

Trump ally and former campaign advisor Roger Stone formed an activist group called Stop the Steal that acted in line with Trump’s public statements. The group threatened violence against delegates if the Republican Party denied Trump its nomination. It then organized intimidation efforts in the general election around the unsupported claim that Trump’s opponents would somehow “flood the polls with illegals. Liberal enclaves already let illegals vote in their local and state elections and now they want them to vote in the Presidential election.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice in 2006, in all federal elections between 2002 and 2005, a total of 26 people out of 197 million were convicted of trying to vote illegally.

Stone’s organization created official-looking ID badges for volunteers and asked them to videotape voters, and conduct phony exit polls in nine cities with large minority populations.

One such volunteer, Steve Webb of Ohio, told the Boston Globe, “I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”

Since becoming president, Donald J. Trump has continued with voter intimidation efforts. He has created a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which has sent letters to states requesting sensitive voter information. Most states have refused. But thousands of people have canceled their registrations rather than have their information turned over to Trump’s administration.

In these and similar actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

V. Muslim Bans

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has engaged in acts of discrimination in violation of the First Amendment and other laws by seeking to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Donald J. Trump had openly campaigned for office promising a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Once in office, he created an executive order that his advisor Rudy Giuliani, said on Fox News had been drafted after Trump had asked him for the best way to create a Muslim ban “legally.” The order targeted several majority-Muslim countries for restrictions on immigration to the United States, but made allowances for people of minority religions within those countries. Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christian refugees would be given priority. When a federal court stopped this order from taking effect, President Trump issued a new one containing, in the words of his advisor Stephen Miller “minor technical differences.”

In these actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

VI. Environmental Destruction

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has actively sought to endanger the future existence of human life in the United States and elsewhere.

On December 6, 2009, on page 8 of the New York Times a letter to then-President Barack Obama printed as an advertisement and signed by Donald J. Trump called climate change an immediate challenge. “Please don’t postpone the earth,” it read. “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.” An overwhelming consensus of climate scientists agreed with and still agree with that statement.

As president, Donald J. Trump has taken the opposite course, refusing to take any significant steps to protect the earth’s climate, and actively taking steps to endanger it, including by seeking to de-fund the Environmental Protection Agency and to censor its publications. President Trump has issued an executive order curbing enforcement of climate regulations. He has withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He has disbanded the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. He has canceled a study of the health impacts of mountain-top removal.

The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has written than environmental crimes are crimes against humanity.

In the above and many similar actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and the world. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

VII. Illegal Wars

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has waged numerous wars in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, both treaties part of the Supreme Law of the United States under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

By these actions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and the world. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

VIII. Illegal Threats of Wars

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has threatened war against additional nations, including North Korea, in violation of the United Nations Charter, a treaty that is part of the Supreme Law of the United States under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

By these actions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and the world. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

IX. Sexual Assault

Prior to becoming President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, stated:

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

By this action, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner that makes it impossible for him to fulfill his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

X. Pardoning Joe Arpaio

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has issued a pardon for former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of contempt for failure to comply with a court order in a case charging him with racial discrimination.

Arpaio was open about his commission of the underlying crime, for which he was found guilty in a civil suit. His contempt conviction was for continuing to engage in racial profiling, violating an order to cease doing so.

Arpaio set up a prison that he called a concentration camp. It had a high death rate with deaths often unexplained. He enclosed Latino prisoners with electric fencing.

By this action, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and the world. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

XI. Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricane Harvey

In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has failed to reasonably prepare for events like Hurricane Harvey or to adequately respond to that hurricane.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was without a new director until June 2017. The National Hurricane Center was without a head from May 2017 through the time of Hurricane Harvey in August. On August 15, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that rejected the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which had been established by executive order in 2015, and which required that infrastructure be built to withstand flooding. He already had disbanded the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, and withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate agreement. When Hurricane Harvey hit, President Donald Trump did not engage in rescue and recovery operations on the scale required. His subordinates at FEMA proposed that private individuals fund and perform those tasks on their own.

By these actions, President Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and the world. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

XII. Warrentless Spying

This is the same article of impeachment that applied to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

XIII. Lawless Imprisonment

This is the same article of impeachment that applied to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

XIV. Violation of Posse Comitatus

This is the same article of impeachment that applied to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

I’m afraid what we lack is not evidence, but organized activism. I’d be more than happy to use your reward money to create it.

Sincerely,

David Swanson

 

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Longer bio and photos and videos here. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for:
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  • ICFubar

    While the accusations may be all true showing cause for the removal of Trump from office the naivety that this would accomplish any kind of future benefit is absurd. The removal of Trump from the swamp could be likened to removing one’s hand from a bucket of water. The system is shot through with lawlessness and corruption and the removal of one lower level criminal for another is I think an exercise in futility as the people would be no better off and perhaps worse off. And then after Pence who next and at what energy cost in misplaced effort? Playing this game on the ruling class’s home turf under a ‘fixed’ scenario will yield only a ‘fixed’ result. Other efforts might prove more productive like a national call not to re-elect any recumbent or some other more sensible plan?

  • nomadd

    #1 Colluding with a hostile foreign power to rig our election.

    In my course of commenting at various sites, it’s amazing how many people are convinced that this actually happened. Not a shred of evidence, and yet the majority of Americans, apparently, actually believe it. Just like they believed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or Russia invaded Ukraine or anything else our propaganda machine spits out over and over again 31. (Or as some like to say, 24/7).

    • Glenda


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    • Melissa


      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • By posting this, it essentially endorses the topic. WashingtonsBlog, did you have an editorial comment for this, or simply endorse this fully? Of all the years of excellent True grit American posts you have made, this one is quite different.

    I find all of these topics products of a weak mind, little research and divide and conquer mentality.

    In response to a linked article:
    Democracy is mob rule. Its 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. I will take my guaranteed rights of a Republic any day over that of Democracy.

    If you actually did research into those things you want to impeach Trump for, you might just find your answers. Stop watching CNN and pickup Google. Clinton sold our nuclear secrets to China (search ChinaGate), Hillary orchestrated nuclear material to Russia and Iran through a big gifting deal, Hillary used the Clinton Foundation to funnel money in a play for pay scheme in the Obama White House.

    Yes, the Bush’s did a lot of really horrible things to, drug running, 9-11, etc. Its not just about Democrats .vs. Republicans, its about our corrupt system, the swamp.

    Trump is just an American Alpha male who doesn’t give a crap about your petty problems. All he wants to do is give everyone their freedom back, that way you can deal with your life on your own terms. Its not a pretty process, nobody is going to sing cum-by-ya, and he isn’t going to get awards for it.

    Back in the late 1700’s we had a band of patriots that sacrificed all they had to start this country, and tell England where to go stick itself. It worked. We are here today. Lets not continue to waste our fore fathers blood, sweat and tears.

    • kimyo

      All he wants to do is give everyone their freedom back

      could you provide an example or two of ‘trump giving everyone their freedom back’?

      • Gladys


        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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      • nomadd

        hes trying to free us from obamacare. so i guess thats something.

    • nomadd

      did anybody else hear the star spangled banner playing in the background while reading this comment?

  • thomas h

    Where were you when obama forgot every single one of his promises, not to mention colluded with racketeers for personal gain?

    • nomadd

      i think he was advocating for peace and working against war.

      • thomas h

        Obama sure wasn’t, though.

        • nomadd

          well d’uh.

          • thomas h

            So why no agitating for impeachment then???

          • nomadd

            i dont know that there wasnt and why r u asking me? u asked what swanson was doing during the obama years. thats what i observed him doing. maybe he will answer you himself. but dont hold your breath. its a pretty irrelevant question. i dont blame him for not answering.

          • thomas h

            I do not see how Trump merits impeachment and Obama didn’t. Especially given the reasons stated, that both are/were guilty of, from obvious corruption to stupid wars.

          • nomadd

            who says obama didnt deserve impeachment? certainly not eric zeusse. check out his case for obama impeachment. trump should be impeached. obama shoulda been impeached. bush shoulda been impeached. clinton shoulda been impeached. wait a minute. clinton was impeached. didnt help though.

  • kimyo

    the only americans who will benefit from impeachment hearings sit in the corner offices at cnn, fox, msnbc, nyt, wapo, etc. it’ll be a ratings bonanza, they’ll be lighting their cigars with $100 bills.

    we’re watching the worst of all possible reality tv shows. trump is there ‘not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.’

    how can the author not grasp this simple fact? does he really believe that his role is to provide a play by play ring-side broadcast for wrestlemania 2017? how can he fail to comprehend that this is not real?

  • Eric Zuesse

    Why is David Swanson now campaigning for President Mike Pence? I don’t see any case being presented here for replacing Trump by Pence. Is Swanson too stupid to recognize that that’s what he’s campaigning to achieve? If not, then why isn’t he presenting a case for it? Why does he altogether ignore the core issue? I really am flabbergasted at how lengthy an article can be and yet say nothing that’s relevant to the case for which it is supposedly arguing — or else (depending upon one’s perspective) is presenting only the (less-than-half of ) the case, the part of it which pertains to how bad a President Trump is. Is Swanson really so stupid that he doesn’t even know that he’s arguing for Trump to be replaced by Pence? If not, then why does he ignore what he is arguing for?