The Possibility of a Trump Impeachment - what would be legit?

I admit to a certain amount of ignorance about what constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Apparently the Trump Univ fraud settlement doesn’t warrant this consideration, that I’ve heard. Apparently the Trump Foundation’s various shenanigans don’t, either. Trump is also floating the idea that Presidents cannot somehow have “conflicts of interest.” What might be reality-based issues that would warrant impeachment? I looked in GD and Elections and didn’t see a similar thread. Please point it out to me if I missed it.

“Other high crimes and misdemeanors” constitutes what the House of Representatives of the day does it does.

Yep: whatever a majority of the House declares to be sufficient cause for an impeachment is sufficient cause for impeachment. It only takes a majority vote.

(2/3 of the Senate to make it stick…)

Clinton was impeached for a remarkably trivial offense, something a ton (literally) of other politicians have done without punishment.

Did you search for the word “impeach” in the Elections Forum?

Didn’t search, just eyeballed. Thanks.

I can’t think of a single President apart form Clinton that committed – or was alleged to have committed – perjury to a grand jury.

As I understand it, Trump is floating the idea that the law prohibiting conflicts of interest by federal employees does not apply to the President, and he is absolutely correct.

As hunted above, what constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors,” is not defined, nor is such a definition justicible. It’s whatever the House says it is.

Now, realistically, I’d say: identify an act that is a felony. If Trump commits that act, it’s realistic to say he’d be in danger of impeachment.

The only impeachable crimes specifically mentioned by the U.S. Constitution are treason and bribery. The rest fall under “high crimes and misdemeanors” which, as previously stated, can be whatever Congress thinks that means. However, ever since the unsuccessful impeachment of Samuel Chase in 1803 (a highly partisan affair based on “political bias, arbitrary rulings, and promoting a partisan political agenda”), it’s been accepted that someone can be impeached only for actual federal crimes or ethical violations. This is why Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, but not adultery.

Therefore, Donald Trump can’t be impeached merely for being a doofus, or even due to questionable executive decisions. The Trump College/Foundation shenanigans might be impeachable, based on which laws if any were broken, but it’s not clear if a federal official can be impeached for crimes committed before they took office. In any case, this is all a theoretical exercise since there’s no way a GOP Congress would ever impeach Trump for anything, unless footage surfaces of Trump accepting a bribe from Putin to nuke Syrian grammar schools…and even then, probably not.

Exactly how many other Presidents have testified before a grand jury? :dubious:

Only Bill Clinton was summoned to appear before a grand jury while President.

Nixon testified to a grand jury in June, 1975, following his August 1974 resignation.

Committing a felony is trivial? Wow.

I can see Trump receiving some sort of bribe in a pay for play scenario. His excuse will be “It’s not a bribe when the President or his foundation takes it! It’s just good business!”

Actually, even a convicted felon can legally run.

My understanding (based solely on reading, and not any legal background!) is that it is generally accepted that the Emolument clause applies to the president, and that it’s likely that Trump is breaking it the second he is sworn in if he doesn’t make sweeping changes to his business arrangements by then.

Bricker, AIUI, the President and Vice President were exempted from the law, supposedly for constitutionality reasons. Is this the case? And if so, could you summarize these reasons? Thanks, and apologies for the hijack.

Too bad I said “politicians” and not “Presidents.”

You just rebutted a point I did not make.

I’m mildly curious what would’ve happened had he simply taken the fifth, while declaring publicly that it wasn’t anybody else’s business and that he was too busy being president to indulge Republican fantasies. I don’t doubt the House could’ve cooked up something anyway, with the same acquittal result. The whole thing was just so damn ridiculous, more so that even now some Americans seem to think actual justice was at stake.

Surely Trump’s tax affairs are a potentially fruitful line of inquiry …

Possibly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s well-insulated behind layers of tax lawyers, each of whom is well-skilled at obfuscation. Trump’s term could be over by the time it gets sorted out.

It’d be much faster and less eyeball-glazing to nail him for a good solid fraud.