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17 Articles of Impeachment for Trump, and 1 for Pence Too

By RootsAction.org

Violation of Constitution on Domestic Emoluments
Violation of Constitution on Foreign Emoluments
Incitement of Violence
Interference With Voting Rights
Discrimination Based On Religion
Illegal War
Illegal Threat of Nuclear War
Abuse of Pardon Power
Obstruction of Justice
Politicizing Prosecutions
Collusion Against the United States with a Foreign Government
Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria

Separating Children and Infants from Families
Illegally Attempting to Influence an Election

Tax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation
Assaulting Freedom of the Press
Supporting a Coup in Venezuela

Violation of Constitution on 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 (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. 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 Inspector General of the General Services Administration confirmed this.

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. The Trump organization receives emoluments from other states as well.

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.

Violation of Constitution on 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 (Article I, Section 9).

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 the Trump organization. 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.

Incitement of Violence
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.

A partial 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.”

“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.”

“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 and other similar 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 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.

Interference With Voting Rights
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 advisor Roger Stone formed an activist group called Stop the Steal that acted in line with Trump’s public statements. The group appeared to threaten 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 from 2002 to 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.

Discrimination Based On Religion
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.

Illegal War
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.

President Trump and his subordinates attempted to mislead the U.S. public and Congress about justifications for wars, including by claiming to have knowledge that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, as well as by falsely stating the number of U.S. troops deployed to various wars.

President Trump has escalated bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria, resulting in large numbers of civilian deaths. After campaigning for office in opposition to the war on Afghanistan, Trump has effectively made it a permanent operation. President Trump spoke at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency on January 23, 2017, and promoted an illegal policy of waging wars for the theft of resources. Trump has overseen the U.S. military’s collaboration in the illegal bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia, in violation of the Leahy Law and resulting in a severe humanitarian crisis.

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.

Illegal Threat of Nuclear War
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 flagrantly threatened nuclear war (“fire and fury”) against 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 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.

Abuse of Pardon Power
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.

Obstruction of Justice
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 obstructed justice.

The day after President Trump was briefed by White House Counsel on dishonest statements by then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who was being investigated by the FBI, Trump met with the director of the FBI James Comey and demanded his personal loyalty. Two weeks later Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation. Later still, Trump fired Comey. By Trump’s own words (http://nbcnews.to/2s0iLJq), his motivation was at least partly to obstruct the investigation.

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.

Politicizing Prosecutions
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 directed or endeavored to direct law enforcement, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to investigate and prosecute political adversaries and others — and to not prosecute political allies — for improper purposes not justified by any lawful function of his office, thereby eroding the rule of law, undermining the independence of law enforcement from politics, and compromising the constitutional right to due process of law.

On the Friday before Election Day 2017, the president issued a remarkable series of public statements, including on Twitter, pressuring the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and other political adversaries.

Earlier, the president had called Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor” while court-martial charges were pending.

On September 3, 2018, President Donald J. Trump tweeted this: “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…” This cannot be read but as potentially influencing the current or a future Attorney General or others in law enforcement to politicize prosecutions.

In 1940, Attorney General (later Supreme Court Justice) Robert Jackson warned that “the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power” was “picking the man and then . . . putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.” A chief executive who uses law enforcement to persecute political enemies is characteristic of a banana republic, not a constitutional republic. That is why Republican and Democratic presidents alike have respected the independence of law enforcement. In the case of military courts-martial, such as Bergdahl’s, this limit is formalized in the prohibition of “command influence.”

Congress set a precedent with the second article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, which cited, in its fifth specification, his use of federal investigative agencies against political opponents. Following this precedent, the president’s attempts to employ the criminal investigative powers of the federal government against political opponents “for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office” are grounds for impeachment, even if they did not succeed in influencing law enforcement.

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.

Collusion Against the United States with a Foreign Government
In his conduct while President-Elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump lobbied foreign governments, including those of Egypt and Russia on behalf of the government of Israel.

Trump advisor Michael Flynn has lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about talking, pre-inauguration, to Russia (and other countries) on behalf of the government of Israel, as instructed by Jared Kushner, who reportedly took his direction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netayahu wanted Russia to block or delay a UN resolution against illegal Israeli settlements, because then-President of the United States Barack Obama had chosen not to veto it. News reports in December 2016 said that Russia, while it did not veto, did try to delay the vote. Also, in December 2016, the government of Egypt said it had delayed the vote because President-Elect Trump had phoned the president of Egypt on behalf of Israel.

In these actions and decisions, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner 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.

Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria
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, which was established to “provide for the common defense,” 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 and Hurricane Maria or to adequately respond to those hurricanes.

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.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, and for the months that followed, President Trump refused significant aid, despite widespread devastation, lack of electricity, and lack of medical care that, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2018, left over 4,600 people dead. For weeks Trump even blocked aid to Puerto Rico from other nations, refusing to waive the Jones Act as he had done following Hurricane Harvey, even as numerous experts predicted the sort of death and suffering that resulted.

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.

Separating Children and Infants from Families
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 overseen the work of his subordinates who have forcibly separated thousands of refugee children and infants from their families, imprisoned them in inhumane conditions including on military bases and in the private facilities of military contractors, denied access to these sites sought by members of Congress, failed to meet or even to plausibly attempt to meet a court-imposed deadline to reunite children with their families, and defended these policies with hate-inspiring rhetoric almost certainly resulting in additional violence and cruelty by government employees and private individuals alike (see also Article of Impeachment on “Incitement of Violence”).

In these actions, Donald J. Trump has abused his high office and violated numerous legal requirements in an explicit effort to punish and deter people who in many cases stand accused of no legal violations themselves, and in other cases are accused of a misdemeanor. These actions by President Trump have violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the United States is party, the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which every other nation on earth is party, the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has maintained that “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the] Court.” President Trump’s subsequent Executive Order stating that families would be imprisoned as groups, rather than being separated, would have failed to bring him into compliance with international law or the Constitution even if implemented.

On September 6, 2018, the Trump administration announced a new rule that would allow immigrant children with their parents to be imprisoned indefinitely, in violation of a 1997 court settlement agreement that limits the imprisonment of children to 20 days.

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 and people seeking asylum and refuge in the United States. Wherefore, President Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

Illegally Attempting to Influence an Election
While campaigning for the office of President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, according to the sworn testimony and the guilty plea of his attorney Michael Cohen, engaged in a criminal conspiracy to buy the silence of individuals, and did so with the intent of influencing the election and in violation of campaign finance laws.

On August 21, 2018, Cohen admitted in federal court that he had paid Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to silence them before the 2016 election at Donald J. Trump’s “direction.” Cohen said he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” and “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.” This testimony implicates Donald J. Trump in the crime of conspiring to make an excessive and illegal campaign contribution. It also implicates him in the high crime and misdemeanor of attempting to fraudulently influence — and quite possibly successfully influence — the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. As President, he lied about and tried to cover-up his wrongdoing.

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

Tax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation
In his conduct prior to assuming the office of President of the United States, Donald J. Trump engaged in extensive tax fraud which served as the basis for his dramatic misrepresentation to the public of his accomplishments.

According to evidence and documentation made public by the New York Times and not countered by President Trump, he and his siblings committed numerous felonies in the course of obtaining wealth from their father while paying approximately 5% rather than the 55% in taxes that the law required.

They did this, in part, by undervaluing properties, a crime known as appraisal fraud. Donald Trump and his siblings claimed that properties given them by their father were worth $41.4 million, but sold those properties for over 16 times that amount during the next decade.

Another crime employed was transfer pricing. Trump and his siblings massively overcharged their father’s companies for largely nonexistent services in order to both obtain his wealth and reduce his profits. The reduction in profits allowed Trump’s father to increase the rent he charged people for publicly subsidized, rent-controlled properties.

Through these and other fraudulent activities, Donald Trump was made wealthy by the transfer of money from his father. In the analysis of one expert, if Trump had simply invested that money in a simple investment fund, he would now have the $10 billion he falsely claimed to have as a candidate for president. In reality, Trump lost a fortune through business failures. As a candidate, however, by lying about his wealth and the origins of his wealth, Donald Trump misled voters to believe that, while he had no political record he did have a very successful business record. Trump falsely claimed to have received only $1 million from his father which he had been required to pay back “with interest.”

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.

Assaulting Freedom of the Press
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 repeatedly undermined the freedom of the press.

President Trump has threatened to use libel law to go after media outlets that have displeased him. On March 30, 2017, he tweeted: “The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?” On April 30, 2017, his then chief of staff Reince Priebus confirmed that changing libel laws is “something we’ve looked at,” adding that “newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news.” 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.

President Trump has threatened to remove broadcasting licenses from media outlets that have displeased him. On October 11, 2017, he tweeted: ‘‘With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!’’ and ‘‘Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!’’

President Trump’s White House, on February 24, 2017, barred certain news media — CNN, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, and Politico — from attending a White House press briefing. In June 2017, his administration prohibited video recordings of White House press briefings. In November 2018, his administration suspended the press credential of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, falsely accusing him of “placing his hands” on a white house intern.

President Trump has repeatedly referred to news media as “the enemy of the people,” while expressing his desire that journalistic activity be stifled. For example: On February 17, 2017, Trump tweeted: ‘‘The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!’’. On July 22, 2017, Trump tweeted: “A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!”

President Trump’s rhetoric has encouraged authoritarian foreign governments to attack the very U.S. media that Trump criticizes, endangering not only press freedoms but the lives and safety of American journalists. On May 2, 2017, just ahead of World Press Freedom Day, the Committee to Protect Journalists noted that “President Trump’s oft-tweeted ‘fake news’ epithet, for example, had already been adopted by repressive governments such as China, Syria, and Russia. When Trump verbally attacked a correspondent during a February press conference, he was cheered by Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the world’s worst jailer of journalists.

When Saudi Arabia murdered U.S./Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump madeextensive efforts to deny the evidence and to prevent or minimize the consequences to the Saudi government, even while continuing his usual verbal attacks on U.S. journalists.

President Trump’s subordinates locked up U.S./Iranian journalist Marzieh Hashemi with no charges or trial as a “material witness.”

President Trump’s Department of Justice has indicted Australian publisher Julian Assange for unknown charges, after spending months trying to figure out some way to prosecute him for the act of journalism.

President Trump has nominated for U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who stated at his confirmation hearings that he might jail journalists for doing their job if that job “hurt the country.”

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As Justice Black observed in New York Times Co. v. United States, “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”

A president is certainly free to criticize particular news stories and outlets that he believes are inaccurate — and no above-cited tweet or statement, standing in isolation, would constitute an impeachable offense. However, President Trump’s consistent pattern of verbal attacks against journalists and his administration’s actions to retaliate against and exclude journalists, combined with threats to take governmental action against news outlets, crosses a line.

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

Supporting a Coup in Venezuela
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,”

And in his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Michael Richard Pence, in violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,

have damaged the rule of law and endangered international security by supporting a coup attempt in Venezuela.

On the evening of January 22, 2019, following years of damaging U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, which followed an unsuccessful 2002 U.S.-supported coup attempt, Vice President Pence reportedly called Juan Guaidó and told him that the United States would support him if he were to seize power in Venezuela. The next day, January 23, Guaidó attempted to do so. That same day, President Trump issued a statement recognizing Guaidó as the President of Venezuela, despite the fact that Venezuela had an elected president and that Guaidó had no legitimate claim to the presidency. On January 24, 2019, the Trump-Pence administration attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the Organization of American States to recognize Guaidó as president.

In the above and related actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Richard Pence have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice 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 and Michael Richard Pence, by such conduct, are guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

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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.

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