Voted for Trump, but now they think of impeachment

রবিবার, ১৩ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

13 November 2016 Gripped by panic and anger at Donald Trump's win in the presidential election, Americans now want to know "how to impeach a president".

They relied on Google, the giant search engine, to know how to get rid of Trump-president elect through impeachment. The result: Google searches for "how to impeach a president" has increased by around 5000 percent hours after Hillary Clinton conceded the race on Tuesday.

Also read: 3,500 lawsuits to follow Trump into White House

This is unprecedented in the history of American democracy. Trump has yet to get officially elected as the president. He has won the majority Electoral College votes and electors are supposed to cast their votes on December 19 for Trump to make him the president.

The impeachment issue has been much talked about following prediction of some law professors and political analysts to this regard. All of the predictors, in their defence, cited the lawsuits Trump now faces.

USA Today in an investigative report on Thursday said Trump has been party to some 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years and is currently facing 75 active lawsuits.

Just two weeks before Election Day, at least 75 of the 4,000-plus lawsuits involving Trump and his businesses remain open according to an ongoing, nationwide analysis of state and federal court records by USA Today.

The number of unresolved cases is unprecedented for a presidential candidate, according to political scientists and historians.

"He would not be entitled to immunity, and could be required to give depositions or even testify in open court. That could chew up time and expose a litany of uncomfortable private and business dealings to the public," said USA TODAY report.

The cases are civil and not criminal; they could result, at worst for Trump, in large fines, but not jail time. Still, convictions of illegal activity could provide ammo for those seeking to impeach the president-elect, according to a report by International Business Times.

Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah, said he found evidence to charge Trump with fraud and racketeering - felonies within state and federal laws.

He claimed that Trump University was unaccredited and taught students get-rich-quick schemes.

"Trump is set to go on trial in three weeks over his now-defunct Trump University, potentially taking the witness stand weeks before his inauguration," claimed Prof Peterson.

The lawsuit, filed in 2010, claims Trump University gave seminars across the country that were like infomercials, pressuring people to spend $35,000 for mentorships.

It has been the biggest fraud case brought by students who claim they were deceived by Trump University's marketing. The case is set to start on 28 November in San Diego.

Before the election, Trump has also been accused of soliciting charitable donations without the proper approvals. Washington Post in a report claimed to have found evidence that he used Trump Foundation money in ways that could benefit him personally, which is against the law.

New York state attorney-general Eric Schneiderman earlier said his office was investigating whether the Trump Foundation charity is complying with state law.

During the electoral campaign, the New York Times in an investigative report said it had received some of Trump's tax documents and found that Trump had been in a position to avoid federal income taxes for 18 years.

The Internal Revenue Service is auditing Mr Trump's taxes.

Interestingly, Peterson came up with the claim before the election. In a 23-page article, he explained why Congress should impeach Trump over these claims.

'In the United States, it is illegal for businesses to use false statements to convince consumers to purchase their services,' said Peterson.

The US Constitution states that presidents may be impeached if they are convicted of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

The process is kicked off by a vote by the House of Representative and is followed by a formal impeachment trial in the Senate.

Only two presidents have been at the centre of the impeachment process in the House, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted by the Senate and remained in office.

Richard Nixon resigned on 9 August 1974 ahead of an almost-certain impeachment in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Political historian Prof. Allan Lichtman was one of the few professional prognosticators to call a Trump win has also come up with another prediction: Trump will be impeached.

Like Peterson, Lichtman also made the prediction before the election.

Political analyst David Brooks also wrote in the New York Times on November 11 suggesting that a Trump impeachment or resignation was “probably” in the cards sometime within the next year.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who in July correctly predicted Trump would win the presidency, now said Trump’s first term will end in either his resignation or impeachment.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, this is why we’re not going to have to suffer through four years of Donald J. Trump, because he has no ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump,” Moore said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“And when you have a narcissist like that, who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will, maybe unintentionally, break laws. He will break laws because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”

Almost immediately after Trump's election, multiple petitions for his impeachment appeared online.

Impeachment is most commonly employed when a leader commits crimes while in office, but, historically, have also been a consequence of convictions for crimes committed before the official has taken office, according to the Congressional Research Service, said a report by International Business Times (IBT) on Thursday.

In 1997, for example, the Supreme Court established that the president “is subject to the same laws that apply to all citizens” when it heard the arguments in a case alleging that Clinton had sexually harassed Arkansas state employee Paula Jones before he assumed the presidential office.

House representatives used the case, along with his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, as a basis for his impeachment in 1998.

Impeachment can also be used simply as a response to “behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office,” according to the Congressional Research Service, which would likely include activities like fraud, discrimination and other offenses Trump has allegedly committed, said the IBT report.

But is it possible to impeach Trump by the Congress dominated by Trump's own Republicans Party?

So, it is unlikely Trump will face a preemptive impeachment.

But political historian Lichtman predicted that Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence, someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust," wrote Peter W. Stevenson for The Washington Post on Thursday citing his conversation with Lichtman

সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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