Time to Begin Impeachment Process

On Nov. 6, the Democrats took back the House of Representatives. They can now reassert some semblance of sanity into the lawmaking body of the U.S. government. This does not mean they should begin to seek rapprochement with Trump and his associates, as some have suggested. What it means is that the House of Representatives should begin the process of impeachment.

Trump’s abuses of power have not been subtle. His criminal enterprises are under investigation in at least three jurisdictions. His obstruction of justice seems to be an almost weekly news item. Indeed, the brazen manner in which he has publicly attacked the various investigations against his campaign and personal enrichment makes one wonder what his henchmen have actually managed to keep hidden. Like the Nixon White House of the early 1970s, the Trump White House believes it is above the law. His actions since the elections have done nothing to disprove this. Indeed, they have further substantiated it.

The Trump administration’s abuse of power seems equal to that of the Nixon White House. This should be enough to require an impeachment investigation. As it did in the Watergate investigation, the special prosecutor’s office should provide any investigative committee with the evidence it has accumulated on the various criminal actions of Donald Trump and his associates. As the reader knows, the special prosecutor’s investigation has led to the convictions of numerous government and Trump campaign officials. There will probably be more. Trump’s ongoing attempts to intrude and block the investigation means he is obstructing justice. It seems quite likely that his involvement in this growing scandal are enough to make him a co-conspirator. Even though he was not indicted, Richard Nixon was named as such in the special prosecutor’s report in 1973.

Once more looking back at Watergate, it seems important to recall that Congress did not want to begin impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon, either. However, after overwhelming political pressure from their constituents following Nixon’s firing of the special prosecutor, hearings were begun. This history tells us one thing: that it is the American people who must speak if they wish to see their government reclaimed from the swamp of criminality, hatefulness, and corruption the Trump administration has sunk it to. It is unlikely that Congress will initiate impeachment proceedings without public pressure. Sure, there are a few brave members who understand their duty, but the majority would rather not poke the beast that is the Trump administration. They fear the risk is too great if they fail.

However, if they do not begin an investigation, there can be no resolution. The swamp that is the current White House will grow, further enveloping the nation in its stench. It seems quite reasonable to write here that if the republic is to survive, there must be a constitutional crisis.

There are times in history when the fear of defeat must be overcome; when careers must become secondary to the pursuit of justice and honorable people must put the desire for justice above all else. The 116th Congress faces such a moment. The elections of Nov. 6 were a demand from the citizens of the United States that Congress fight back against the criminality, corruption, hatred and authoritarianism of Donald Trump and his party. The Constitution provides the means via the impeachment clause. The American people must insist that the 116th Congress do its job. The House Judiciary Committee must begin the impeachment process immediately upon the beginning of the 116th session.

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.