How much Trump-Russia collusion would it take before you support impeachment?

Taking the IC at its word that Russia did several things to tip the election in Trump’s favor, including hacking both the GOP and DNC but only leaking the DNC, as well as funding a tidal wave of fake news to misinform people in key states, the principal question under investigation is whether Trump was in any way involved in those activities. I’m curious to hear from people, but especially conservatives, about how much collusion would be enough to persuade you to impeach.

Looks like I’m the first to answer.

I think aiding a foreign power’s effort to disrupt a democratic election is certainly a high crime or misdemeanor, so at the very most I would require Trump’s knowledge or direction of such aid.

The open question in my mind is whether a close associate doing so is enough. On the one hand, I think there’s a pretty strong inference that Trump would have known in such a case (like Bridgegate). On the other hand, he runs such a sloppy shop and employed such a rogue’s gallery, that the normal assumptions might not apply. On the third hand, maybe it’s OK to hold him responsible for such people’s actions even if he didn’t know?

Curious to hear what others think.

Several are possible.

If there’s no evidence Trump knew about any collusion but close associates did then impeachment has to be based on his incompetence. That’s a pretty high bar to reach for me even for this idiot. But he’s already built himself a step ladder to help him over that bar so it could happen.

If there’s any evidence of Trump knowing about collusion by his associates and he didn’t report that to the Justice then he should be impeached. Possibly if he found out about the collusion from the government but didn’t fire the person he should be impeached, but his knowledge of actual evidence of collusion has to be pretty strong for that, not merely that someone has been suspected of collusion.

If Trump colluded with the Russians, directly or indirectly, he should be impeached.

If there’s evidence that Trump interfered with the investigation into collusion he should be impeached.

I had similar thinking. I came down on the side of holding Trump accountable if his people were slipping the Russians information. It’s highly unlikely that we would ever be able to get proof sufficient to determine whether Trump himself knew of such activity or ordered it, so I think without such a standard you would never be able to do anything even if he was as guilty as sin. For someone that we need to trust the integrity of to run the nation, clear acts of treason within his inner circle is too close, no matter what, to allow him to continue to stay on as the President. Even if he is, in fact innocent, the stench would be too much to leave in office.

I’m curious to hear from the two people who think Trump aiding Russia’s efforts is not enough so long as he offered them nothing in exchange.

Why isn’t that enough for you? (HurricaneDitka?)

Trump should be impeached once it’s reasonably clear that Russia has blackmail leverage on him.

This reminds me, a bit, of Reagan and the Iran / Contra scandal. Reagan’s aides did bad things (and many of them were convicted of it), but it was always maintained that Reagan himself was unaware of the activities, and, IIRC, no evidence was ever discovered that proved otherwise.

Reagan made a “buck stops here” speech about the scandal, saying:

Even if there was collusion involving Trump’s subordinates, and Trump was not involved or knowledgeable about it, there’s nothing I’ve ever seen about Trump which would suggest that he’d similarly accept ultimate responsibility.

Absolutely - or any type of potential major business interest - the President cannot be compromised by a foreign power in any way or shape! Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves!

interfering with the investigation in any way is grounds for impeachment. Knowing about any form of Russian attempt to influence the election and not discussing it with the FBI is almost as damning as lying about whether or not you knew they were trying. Being told by numerous intelligence pros that Russia was the culprit in this election and then continually saying it might not have been, that you are smarter than the intelligence folks? Probably not impeachable, but certainly grounds for 25th amendment action.

That’s where I come down. I’m not up on the legal definition of obstruction of justice, but firing Comey certainly qualifies in a lay sense of the term. Like the prosecutor in the Scooter Libby case said, obstruction of justice is the legal equivalent of throwing sand in a ref’s eyes so he can’t make the call on the potential crime being investigated. And that’s what Trump was trying to do by firing Comey: interfere with the ability of the FBI to determine whether there’s a case against him or his associates.

Also, the emoluments clause. He and Ivanka and Jared are using their offices to enrich themselves.

Not saying there aren’t other potential grounds.

But I’m interested to see people draw their own line in the sand before all the evidence comes to light from the Russia investigation.

I chose “Trump knew/caused his associates to give information to Russia to aid in Russia’s efforts.”

I think it would be important in any impeachment action to make it make sense for as many people as possible, and I think going after Trump for what his friends did would be too likely to make too many people defend him, based on their sense that they shouldn’t be held responsible for what their friends/family/neighbors do.

Fundamentally, impeachment is a political question. I can say I think certain things are wrong or despicable. But for impeachment, it has to be something most other people think is despicable as well. I think that’s the option I’ve chosen.

Are you asking what is the very least or what is the very most?

I picked option number 4, but only because I think option number 2 might depend on the circumstances. So maybe option number 2, but definitely option 4. I don’t think having his associates do stuff without his knowledge is enough for impeachment, but again it might depend on what he did once he found out about their actions.

The initial wiretapping in watergate was done without Nixon’s actual knowledge or direction.

It’s not what your friends do, it’s what you do to cover for them.

I thought he was saying that’s the most he would require, but something less might suffice.

If you think a CEO has ultimate responsibility for his underlings, than the 3rd option reaches that level. Say, for example, if you think Ken Lay (Chairman of Enron) should be punished for directions Jeff Skilling (President) gave to his underling, CFO Andy Fastow, then Trump doesn’t pass option 3.

If not, then #4 is a reasonable personal standard. Since “high crimes and misdemeanors” is a judgment call, I’m good with #3.

I think I would change my answer. Alas, I cannot.

Isn’t there a law that a CEO is accountable for the actions of his firm, whether or not he has direct knowledge of them? I believe it went into effect after Enron. That being the case, I’d apply the same logic. You run your own ship. Even if Trump cannot be shown to have had direct knowledge of the activities of his subordinates, he still has to go.

This was my reasoning (and vote) as well. Trump differs from Nixon and even from Reagan during Reagan’s Presidency (as opposed to his later mythologized status)—Trump has several million rabid fans. Any measure taken toward removing him from office has to be very clearly seen to be brought on the basis of his own knowledge and actions.

What did you select in the poll?

(And, yes, it was Enron. Good memory!)