by William Teach | May 22, 2017 7:32 am
It’s an interesting debate, one which The Nation writer John Nichols, nor any other TN writer forgot to make about Obama
Donald Trump Committed Another Impeachable Offense This Week
President Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense this week, but you likely haven’t heard about it on cable news.
It did not involve firing the director of the FBI, nor conspiring with the attorney general to facilitate the firing that even some Republicans recognized as a potential obstruction of justice, nor bragging to the Russians about how “pressure” was “taken off” by that firing, nor any of the other acts of presidential maladministration that scream out for an accountability moment.
Those developments may have gotten the impeachment clock ticking faster, as Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan suggested. But there was another event—nothing to do with Russia—that should have set off the alarm: Donald Trump’s refusal to respect the requirements that the US Constitution places on presidents when it comes to matters of war and peace.
On Wednesday, US forces carried out more unauthorized air strikes on pro-government forces in Syria. Though the Constitution explicitly states that the legislative branch, not the executive, has the power to initiate new military actions, Trump has steered the United States deeper into the Syrian conflict.
Got that? Trump was doing the same thing as Obama, albeit with more force, yet, now this means impeachment.
If true, this is FRICKIN ILLEGAL. Trump does not have Congressional authorization to attack Syria, a country that has not attacked US. https://t.co/5cf7gBVwC7×
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— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 18, 2017
Where was he when Obama was launching air strikes? Not just in Syria, but all over the Middle East and Northern Africa? Even if we discount that Trump has the ability to do this under the post 9/11 authorization, which some would say does apply because Syria is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, there is still the War Powers Act in play.
Lieu is not alone in expressing concern about this undeclared war making. After Trump ordered military strikes on Syria in April, Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders Raúl Grijalva, Keith Ellison, and Mark Pocan released this statement:
Nothing in the statement, which you can read at The Nation, mentions impeachment, just some whining by Democrats. But, one has to wonder where all these folks were when Obama unilaterally launched an air war against Libya, which has turned the rogue nation from a retired terrorism player to a hotbed of ISIS and Islamic radicalism. Obama wasn’t even in the U.S when he started the actions. And, even some Leftists stated that this was illegal, yet, no one at The Nation or in Progressive World was calling for impeachment.
The commentariat can and will debate when a president’s refusal to seek congressional authorization for military action becomes impeachable. (There will even be attempts by the apologists for presidential overreach to make convoluted claims about how past authorizations of the use of military force somehow apply to every new conflict.) But, in Trump’s case, there is no evidence to suggest that he will respect the requirements of the Constitution. As such, an article of impeachment is justified.
Of course, impeachment is a political process rather than a legal one….
Boom, stop right there. This is all about politics, about Democrats being utterly unhinged by Trump winning the election per the Constitutional requirements (funny how they don’t like that part of the Constitution) and just can’t move on. Rather than putting forth policies which excite the voting public, asking for votes, working to regain the population segments they lost, they’d rather devolve into insanity.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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