There has been much debate about the impeachment of President Donald Trump. While there are many legitimate criticisms of Trump’s presidency, no president can be impeached just because people think he’s a terrible president. The Constitution says a president can only be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Unfortunately, being incompetent, obnoxious, racist, or ignorant does not qualify as a high crime or misdemeanor.
Therefore, it is necessary to enumerate the impeachable crimes the president has committed. Here are 10 of Donald Trump's offenses that provide a reasonable basis for impeachment; they include specific instances of unconstitutional actions, violations of campaign finance laws, personal ethics violations, obstruction of justice, and more.
1. Trump uses the presidency for his own personal gain.
Donald Trump has repeatedly violated the US Constitution by using the presidency for his own personal gain. He has made millions of dollars by using his golf resort in Florida as a Southern White House. He profited when he urged Vice President Pence to stay at his resort in Ireland (which was far from where Pence was meeting the Irish Prime Minister) at a much higher cost than other, much closer places to stay.
What's more, Trump and his family are making millions of dollars when foreign officials stay at Trump hotels and when foreign governments approve Trump projects or grant trademarks for Trump products. Trump and his family are profiting tremendously from actions he is taking as president. This is a glaring violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.
Trump uses his high office to reward his friends and punish his opponents.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Trump has admitted that he rewards state governors who are adequately "appreciative" of him. He has clearly punished state Governors like Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan by withholding badly needed assistance to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Trump has countless conflicts of interest and personal ethics violations.
Unlike every other president before him, Donald Trump refused to divest from his business interests when he became president. As a result, Trump knows exactly how his actions as president have a direct impact on his personal wealth and his financial investments. He profited from the tax cuts he enacted and likely made several million dollars. This could explain why he is the first president in over 50 years to refuse to release his tax returns. He has even gone to court to prevent the release of his tax returns.
Walter Shaub Jr., the director of the US Office of Government Ethics, tried to get President Trump to divest from his business interests to avoid such conflicts, but Trump refused. Shaub saw so many ethics violations and conflicts of interest that he ultimately resigned in protest.
3. He encouraged a foreign country to interfere in the US presidential election.
At a time when Trump and his campaign officials already knew Russia was interfering in the US election, Trump publicly urged Russia to interfere even more, which they did. Many high ranking people in Trump’s campaign were contacted by Russians with offers of help in the 2016 election and they did not turn down those offers. Although the Mueller investigation did not conclude that Trump conspired with Russia, they did conclude that Trump’s campaign, as well as Trump himself, knew about and encouraged Russian interference.
4. He publicly lied about his business dealings with Russia.
While running for president in 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed to have no involvement with Russia, but he was, in fact, negotiating with the Russian government and Russian business interests about developing a Trump Tower in Moscow at that very time.
Lying to the voters is not strictly an impeachable offense, but Trump blatantly lied about his business ties to Russia because he knew it was an incredible conflict of interest for a potential US president to have major business dealings with a frequent competitor and potential adversary of the United States.
5. According to the Mueller Report, Trump attempted to obstruct justice multiple times.
The Mueller report cites many examples of Trump repeatedly trying to fire the people who are investigating him, discouraging witnesses from cooperating with the investigation, falsifying information about the Trump Tower meeting, asking people to lie and dangling pardons for people who refused to cooperate with the investigation. Many of these acts of obstruction were done publicly on Trump's Twitter account.
For more information about Trump's obstruction of justice, see the Mueller Report, Volume II, pages 1–8.
The conclusions from the Mueller Report were also confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which, it's important to point out, was chaired by Republicans.
6. He violated campaign finance laws.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump had his lawyer make illegal hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up their sexual relationship, then Trump and his lawyer lied about it. This is a blatant violation of campaign finance laws.
During the 2020 campaign, Trump has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of the White House for strictly political purposes.
7. Trump urged a foreign leader to help him smear his political opponent.
While Trump withheld aid from the country of Ukraine, he spoke by phone with the Ukraine president. He told the president that the US has been very generous to Ukraine, but that Ukraine had not “reciprocated.” When the Ukraine president said they needed more Javelin missiles, Trump replied, “I need you to do me a favor though,” and then asked the Ukraine president to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Joe Biden. Trump implied that this was a condition to be met if the Javelin missiles were to be sold to Ukraine.
By asking a foreign leader to help smear his political opponent for strictly political reasons, Trump was abusing his presidential powers. This is another glaring violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.
8. Millions of dollars that were raised for Trump's inauguration are STILL unaccounted for.
Trump’s campaign is still under investigation for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy against the United States because of the millions of dollars donated for his inauguration that just “disappeared”.
$106 million was raised for Trump's inauguration, and the inaugural committee still has not accounted for how the money was spent.
9. Trump illegally used his charitable foundation for political purposes.
Trump was ordered to pay $2 million to the charities that he scammed with his fraudulent charity, the Trump Foundation. He also has been prohibited from ever serving on the board of any charity in the future.
Trump raised money that was supposed to go to a veteran's charity but the investigation revealed that the money was used for Trump's political campaign and never sent to the veterans groups.
Additionally, the Trump Foundation illegally made a $25,000 contribution to the Florida Attorney General who was investigating the fraudulent Trump University. Then, the Trump Foundation falsely reported the $25,000 contribution on their taxes, claiming that it went to a charity in Kansas which, in fact, never received any money from them.
10. Trump violated national security by giving his son-in-law top security clearance.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, lied on his application for security clearance by not disclosing dozens of contacts he’d had with foreign governments, including Russia. This type of omission is a felony and usually more than enough to get someone’s security clearance denied. However, President Trump ordered National Security Agency officials to give Kushner the clearance anyway, which is an extraordinary violation of national security.
Not all crimes are impeachable.
Since many of Trump’s business dealings are still being investigated, he could be prosecuted for money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, and other financial crimes after he leaves office, but it is questionable as to whether he could be impeached for these crimes while in office.
Why was impeachment warranted?
- Political considerations should not matter. Most of the arguments against impeachment involved concerns that impeachment could backfire and help Trump politically if the impeachment is not upheld in the Senate. But political consequences are irrelevant. Politics should play almost no role in the decision to impeach.
- Trump’s corrupt behavior continues to get worse the longer he is in office. Trump has shown a tendency to ignore the mistakes of the past and to continue to behave criminally even while he is being investigated for previous crimes.
- Not holding Trump accountable will lead to more corruption in the future. If we allow Trump’s crimes and violations of the Constitution to go unpunished, future presidents will be more inclined to blatantly violate the Constitution and use the power of the presidency for their personal gain.
Televised impeachment hearings educate the public about Trump’s crimes. There is an old saying that sunlight is the best disinfectant. What that means is that bringing someone's crimes to the light of day tends to be the best way to stop those and future crimes.
When Congress began impeachment hearings against President Nixon, Nixon’s popularity was well above 50% and the US public was largely against it. After seeing the evidence presented in the televised hearings, public opinion changed to strongly support his impeachment.
Don't take my word for any of this. Do your own research or follow the links I provided to find out more about all of these issues. Any one of the impeachable crimes listed above should merit Trump's impeachment and removal from office.
In the unlikely event that Donald Trump is reelected, he should hold the distinction of being the only president to be impeached twice. Trump has undeniably committed more crimes beyond those for which he he was previously impeached.
Impeachment should be decided exclusively on the merits of the evidence and the severity of the crime. One thing is certain, Trump will, without a doubt, commit more crimes if he is given a second term.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Will Trump's children be charged with criminal acts?
Answer: I suspect they will after Trump leaves office - unless he pardons them.
Question: Why are you telling such atrocious lies with no evidence?
Answer: As you can see throughout the article, everything stated is supported by links to credible source information. Every single fact stated in the article can be independently confirmed. The fact that you choose not to believe it says much more about you than about the article.
Question: Do you think Donald Trump will ever pay for the crimes listed?
Answer: Most likely, no. Trump may be sued for some wrongdoings, and some jurisdictions could indict him for his crimes, but he will ultimately use his power and money to keep himself out of jail.
Valkyries Call on July 29, 2020:
This is a question. I have been sending letters in protest to people to try to inspire moor people to vote for other candidates and not trump and I would like to use your information in the letters and of course you would be sighted.
The most Conservative Person in the U.S. on March 31, 2020:
Bob on January 19, 2020:
Then CHARGE the man...and PROVE the charges IN court.
Joshua Crowder from Tampa, FL on December 27, 2019:
I see by the URL that your original title was "11 Crimes For Which Donald Trump Should be Impeached." I'm sure you can fit another in there.
Glenn Norgren on December 12, 2019:
Let me preface this by stating that Richard Holland is not a 50 yr registered dem. He is nothing if the kind - He is a Russian inspired BOT. This is how they work. Based on keywords, this post will be re-generated millions of times, each one being slightly altered automatically - by algorithm, to fit the particular thread.
richard holland on December 03, 2019:
let me preface this with the fact that i am a 50yr registered dem and i have read all of these points as pure dribble -- i watched and read everything i could find from both sides -- there is nothing -- not one of these talking points tht can be backed up --- not one -- i am ashamed to be a part of this sham
Republican turned Democrat on November 25, 2019:
I read the republican replies and none of the defense even begins to address his innocence. It is just reply after reply over and over again that democrats are making this up out of thin air.
COME ON! Say anything at all that makes we wonder if its possible that he did not do these things.
So far I have not heard it. I want to believe that our US president is not the corrupt hairless mole we think he is but I have yet to year anything to make me trust this man.
His elocution is worse than my 12 year old son.
It is an embarrassing time to be an American.
Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on September 29, 2019:
No, the legal definition of that is Trump supporter.
jeff61b (author) on September 29, 2019:
James A Watkins -
If you noticed, for most of these points, there are links to articles that go in depth on each crime. The facts are all there. You can yell "lie" all you want and hurl petty insults, but you have made no effort whatsoever to dispute even one of the crimes Trump committed listed in this article.
If you have any credibility at all, you would address specific statements in this article that are supposedly untrue. Otherwise, there is no reason to take you seriously.
James A Watkins from Chicago on September 29, 2019:
I am amazed that anyone could publish such utter nonsense and not be thoroughly ashamed of himself. You must be a sociopath and insane, the legal definition of which is "not being able to tell right from wrong." Every item you mentioned was an outright lie. Wow.
Mike Russo from Placentia California on September 28, 2019:
This is an excellent article and very well written. We tend to forget all of his violations, but your article brings them back into focus. I think it will be a hard sell for his supporters to see reality, even with the benefit of TV.
Trump's state run TV (Fox News) has a much wider coverage than the MSM. Most of their prime time viewers are hard core Trump supporters.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. One thing is certain; when Trump is out of office he is fair game for obstruction of justice. Whether anything will come of that is yet to be seen.
I'm sharing this on Facebook.