OPINION - Donald John Trump lies, and lies, and lies. Everyone, including many of his most ardent followers, know it. His myriad mendacities are easily outed daily by the media, and even by average Americans catching them in the daily, hourly Trump Twitter rants.
It is one thing, as a private citizen selling steaks, scams, and structures, to embellish or flat-out falsify to promote a product. It is quite another, though, when a serial liar is the 45th President of the United States who uses the office to preserve and protect self before the Constitution, his country, and citizenry.
Trump’s primary mistake is hubris. He is the office holder, not the office owner. How a person comports themselves in that office, which belongs to all of the people of the United States, and not the president, or the holders of a particular party.
We, the media, have failed to step back and put these questions to you, the public, as part of your “right to know:”
- Is a proven, serial liar damaging the “brand” of the presidency, the United States, and the Constitution with its citizens and in the country’s global standing in the world an impeachable offense in and of itself?
- Is an office holder of the presidency, who makes public, wild threats or accusations against foreign powers with whom we are at war, a clear and present danger to the safety of our citizens?
- Is a president who amplifies, by wild unproven public statements about third-rate conspiracy theories digested from extremist media undermining the very institutions of government which they are sworn to protect?
If you believe that the answer to any of the above three questions is “yes,” then Speaker Ryan, Senator McConnell, and their Republican majorities in Congress must do their duty and impeach Donald John Trump.
Aside from the Administration’s Russia problems, Logan Act issues, and Emoluments embroglio, the President of the United States may have violated the Sedition Act of 1918 with his latest Korean tweet rant.
Trump’s most recent Twitter taunt of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has elevated Kim to a position of real power:
Trump’s schoolyard engagement of “mine is bigger than yours,” the now-infamous “button” tweet, gives Kim standing and leverage. That “aid and comfort” to a longstanding enemy is not only inexcusable. It’s illegal.
Most Americans, apparently including Trump, forget this, but we are still, officially, at war with Korea. It never ended. The Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953, establishing a cease fire, not a peace settlement.
The Sedition Act of 1918 states, in part:
“...whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States...shall by word or act support or favour the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both...”
In general, all Trump tweets are bad for America:
- Attacks upon his own government, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department including hints that he is the victim of a mythical “deep state” that neither he nor the seditious commentators punditry, that he devours along with his cheeseburgers in the residence, have one shred of proof exists;
- Inflammatory remarks about nuclear-armed powers, including North Korean and Pakistan, hobble diplomacy, and put American soldiers and sailors at risk of both terror attacks and avoidable global conflicts with well-armed and often fanatical world powers.
- They generally portray a man who lacks focus and self-control, denigrating the office that he serves. They diminish and destroy decades of the United States’ hard-won place as a leader of the free world, imperfections and all.
Republican leadership has a lot of very bad choices before them, politically. They, too, are just office holders, not owners, and they need to remember that. Like Trump, they are sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
With or without Russia, Trump’s mental state and apparently uncontrollable compulsions present a clear and present danger to the defense of that oath. They are clear signs of impairment that are just as significant as disability from a stroke.
They are a violation not only on his part, but on the part of Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They both took the same oath “without any mental reservation,” but clearly have been engaged in a “purpose of evasion” for political purposes that have put party and partisan politics ahead of country.
Benjamin Franklin was the proponent of impeachment because he thought it was a more civil and appropriate remedy for the removal of “obnoxious” leadership than assassination or revolution.
So, to the Republican leadership of the United States Congress, a question: Will you “bear true faith and allegiance” to your country’s Constitution, and the government chartered to defend it for the citizens whom it was designed to benefit and protect? Will you act in the defense of your country from an obnoxious, irresponsible, and reckless leader, elected under the shadow of conspiracy, who is putting to the test the oath that you were all administered?
The words are only rhetorical if you continue to ignore the problem that is clearly before you. Sedition fundamentally undermines the institutions and the Constitution that chartered them. Many of you were lawyers in your pre-legislative lives. You know that there are consequences for being an accessory before or after the fact, even as legislators.