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Trump’s Autocratic Assault on All Constitutional Norms Warrants Impeachment

Last week Thursday, before the Flynn-Cohen-Manafort dump underscored how Donald Trump surrounded himself with and seized the Presidency with the help of felons, law professor Frank Bowman announced that his new book on the history of impeachment will hit the shelves next spring… by which time one analyst says there’s a 55% chance Professor Bowman will need to rush to print a new chapter.

Bowman says his main contention is that British and American constitutional history show that “impeachment is, and was always intended to be, a means of protecting the Constitution in the broad sense, by which I mean not only the particular governmental arrangements and personal rights specified in the written document, but equally importantly, the distinctively American institutions and norms that have grown, flourished, and solidified around the written core.”

Are we there yet? Bowman says absolutely:

…Trump’s true offense, the thing that would justify his impeachment and removal, is not any one of these, but the totality of his multifaceted assault on the norms of American constitutional government. The unifying feature of all his offenses, large and small, is self-aggrandizement. His object is to draw as much power, money, and adulation to himself, and secondarily to his family, as he can. His invariable method is to attack any person, institution, law, rule, custom, or norm that might impede him from whatever he happens to want at the moment. His objective is government according to the will of the one. What he seeks, whether as some deep-laid plain or more likely because it is simply his nature, is autocracy. And there is solid, venerable precedent for impeachment on that ground [Frank Bowman, “The Case for Impeachment of Donald Trump, Part 1 (The Forest & the Trees),” Impeachable Offenses, 2018.12.06].

Meanwhile, Senator John Thune is mumbling cautiously:

“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more that’s going to come out from the Southern District (of New York) and from, at some point, from the Mueller investigation as well,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber’s incoming No. 2 Republican, said Monday. “What they’re implying there, obviously, is something I assume at some point the president will have an opportunity to respond to.”

Thune continued: “Campaign finance violations are something that … they are serious matters, but obviously it depends a little bit on how it gets treated” [“AP News in Brief,” AP via North Andover (MA) Eagle Tribune, 2018.12.11].

I’m not sure why there’s a but after “Campaign finance violations are… serious matters.” But remember: Professor Bowman’s point is that impeachment hinges not on campaign finance violations or any of the other trees; the need to remove the current President of the United States rests on the vast forest of Donald Trump’s selfish drive toward unaccountable autocracy.

47 Comments

  1. Curt 2018-12-11 07:45

    To sum it up, Jason seems to have failed to read the material in the post. It does not say that CAH thinks Trump should be impeached. Maybe he does, but this post says that a law professor named Frank Bowman thinks Trump should be impeached – and makes a strong case for his opinion.
    It seems that Jason would like to direct our attention elsewhere (Hillary, Obama, maybe Bigfoot) and ignore the mounting evidence against #45. I tend to agree with Professor Bowman – that the House has a constitutional obligation to examine the evidence and almost cannot avoid the conclusion that Trump is guilty of numerous high crimes and misdemeanors.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-12-11 08:19

    I’ve read several books on impeachment in the last year. I’m sure law professors and historians of the constitution are making lots of money giving speeches and writing books on the subject.

    Trump is exactly the type of leader that the writers of the Constitution had in mind when they contemplated the type of person who should face impeachment and conviction. Unlike the cowards and traitors in the current Republican Party, people who had gone through a war with the most powerful nation on earth were not scared to stand up to would-be dictators and autocrats who might pop up in the Presidency.

    The fact of the matter is nearly all of our institutions have failed us, so I have no expectation that we can get rid of Trump peacefully. The electoral college, which was designed to keep a corrupt and ill-suited man out of the office of President, failed. The executive branch, or course, is corrupt and run by a narcissistic autocrat. It will do all it can to keep the dictator in power. The Republican-led legislative branch is a useless captive of the executive and a know-nothing base. With Democrats in power in the House, maybe there will be a change, but it is only one house. Republican efforts over the years have led to a corruption of the election process, so we don’t have a working democracy anymore. The only institution that is barely clinging to some semblance of Constitutional norms is the judicial branch, but Republicans are doing all they can to corrupt that branch. We do have a free press, for the moment.

  3. OldSarg 2018-12-11 09:12

    I’m glad Donny has read several books on impeachment. He might also be well served to understand who this investigation into Russian collusion descended from actions with the Russians to behavior, though wrong, is not illegal. Today our government has the capability, and does, record EVERY conversation, keystroke and communication you make via an electronic means. They can turn on your computer camera, see every web site you have ever visited and even read the text of your daughter, son, wife or mother. The government has been misusing these powers.

    The greatest failure, in this case, of our institutions was the criminal acts an conspiracy to undermine a legally elected President by our own institutions, such as the FBI, CIA, DoJ, NSA and State Dept, using the tools and methods they should not be using against the very people they swore to defend.

    Our country is in a dangerous place right now and unless the truth comes out the secret government that has been operating out of sight will continue to strip our freedoms. Today the target is Trump and if they are willing to go after a man of his wealth and power they would easily destroy the rest of us. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  4. mike from iowa 2018-12-11 09:33

    Prove Drumpf was legally elected, OldScrotum.

    Ill informed obstructionist/deniers such as yerself are the real danger in Drumpf’s Kremlin annex.

    When did Donald Pay call you names?

  5. jerry 2018-12-11 09:40

    How it begins to unravel. History does repeat itself. Ah, the seeds of the late 60’s come to mind. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    “Federal agents have arrested 32 religious leaders and activists at the border in San Diego during a protest in support of the Central American migrant caravan.

    More than 400 demonstrators, many of them leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, called for an end to the detention and deportation of migrants and for the US to welcome the caravan that arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, in November.

    Singing and praying, religious leaders moved forward in lines of four to six, some wearing T-shirts reading “Love knows no borders”. They were handcuffed and led away by federal agents once they entered a restricted area in front of the fence.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/10/love-knows-no-borders-agents-arrest-32-as-religious-leaders-gather-at-us-border

    trump should not be impeached or jailed, Individual 1 sure as hell needs to though.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-12-11 09:42

    Fer krissakes, Troll, don’t you even read the false links you provide? Hell no you don’t. Judge Royce Lambert wants evidence for a lawsuit into the Benghazi hearings and here is what was said about being lied to-

    A federal judge complained Friday that he was lied to by the State Department in a suit related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but he later backed off his claim, saying he may have been mistaken.

    This brouhaha was from a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, the right wing outfit that has the state department tied in knots with thousands of FOIA requests. This outfit was previously lead by Larry Klayman, the worst lawyer the world has ever seen.

  7. jerry 2018-12-11 09:46

    If you want to start your own protest to resist and remove the autocrats, you can do so, with peace and love man. It overpowered our government in the Vietnam War years while removing the Nixon regime, including the Vice President, bah frigging zing! https://migrantjustice.afsc.org/

  8. jerry 2018-12-11 09:56

    The United States Department of Justice calls trump a felon. Yep, you heard that correct, a felon. trump is no different that those felons we see incarcerated in Sioux Falls. Number 2 Thune and his sidekick Rounds, aid and abet a common criminal.
    Side note for our Russian trolls here. “abet” is not like a bet which is probably what you both do in the casino at Saint Petersburg, Russia with your cased paytroll checks.

    “On Friday, the Department of Justice called Donald Trump a felon. The extraordinary claim came in a sentencing memo about his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who helped Trump commit suspected campaign finance violations by paying off two women who claim to have had affairs with the now-president.

    On Monday, Senate Republicans had their chance to weigh in on Friday’s bombshell. Would they condemn Trump, now an unindicted co-conspirator in Cohen’s crimes? Would they turn a critical eye toward his extramarital affairs? Or would they find a way to blame it on anyone but the president? Yeah, that’s the one.” New York Times 12/11/2018

  9. Donald Pay 2018-12-11 10:01

    Yes, OldSarg, our government is in a dangerous place because of the Russian effort to install Trump as President succeeded. You notice OldSarg loves a government agency only insofar as it protects the autocrat in power. If that agency actually does the job it is supposed to do, OldSarg hates it.

    I’m wondering why OldSarg is complaining about these agencies. The Autocrat has been in power and can seek to appoint whoever he wants to run his agencies. The Autocrat’s Party has controlled the purse strings and policy for 2 years. The Autocrat and his party could have ended all of OldSarg’s largely delusional efforts to destroy the Autocrat’s power. Maybe this is what should be eating away at OldSarg: the Autocrat is really kind of an incompetent, dumb boob, incapable of governing in the way OldSarg wants, and the dumb folks in the Autocrat Party are really pretty ineffective leaders.

    It’s not the FBI’s or the CIA’s fault if Trump is a dumb and incompetent leader.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-11 11:16

    Trump continues to be super pissed that he can’t find someone to fill the soon to be vacated position of chief-of-staff. Think about it, would you take a position in the Trump White House that may only last two years or less?
    Also, for the first time since taking office, Trump is actually considering that he may face impeachment in the House.

  11. Owen Reitzel 2018-12-11 12:20

    When Jason can’t make an argurment to support the orange monster he does what all right wingers do. Bring up Hillary and Obama and fake conspiracies

  12. leslie 2018-12-11 12:22

    Campaign violations by Russia NRA GOP Trump elected a wholly unqualified, criminal president. PRETTY BIG F—ING DEAL (c)VPJoe Biden.

    Impeach the bastard. Jail the crook. Then see how convinced reasonable Senate republicans are.

  13. Jason 2018-12-11 12:30

    So far not one Democrat on this board has denounced the Corruption in Obama’s DOJ and you want South Dakotan’s to elect Cory and Democrats?

    That’s priceless.

  14. owen reitzel 2018-12-11 12:40

    What corruption is that Jason? What has been proven? Nothing

  15. Jason 2018-12-11 12:45

    Read my link above Owen. Feel free to use Google to find other sources.

  16. Owen Reitzel 2018-12-11 12:57

    So Obama and Hillary are in jail?

  17. Porter Lansing 2018-12-11 13:03

    Owen, Jason posts opinions from John Hinderaker’s extremist blog, Powerline as valid and factual. ha ha ha Hinderaker is proof that all of Donus Roberts students didn’t turn out better for the experience. He was a liar in high school and now he’s been certified as such, nationwide. There was no verified corruption in Obama’s DOJ.

  18. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-11 13:52

    Thanks Porter, I just checked out Powerline and found out how extremely conservative they are. I seriously doubt that Jason has ever linked a credible article on Dakota Free Press.
    As per usual, Jason wants to interject Hillary and President Obama as a distraction to the Trump investigation. Jason continues to blame Cory not talking about Hillary’s emails and conspiracy theories about President Trump.
    Cory has stated repeatedly that if Jason has preferred topics he wants to post about he can establish his own blog, it would be in Jason’s best interest to do just that.
    Short of writing his own blog, Jason could post on any of a number of conservative political blogs including Sibby Online, Dakota War College, or the conspiracy laden blog, the Right Side Blog

  19. OldSarg 2018-12-11 13:57

    “There was no verified corruption in Obama’s DOJ.” then by the same standard why do you keep attacking Trump?

  20. owen reitzel 2018-12-11 14:51

    OS. Muellers investigation is ongoing. Ne patient.

  21. owen reitzel 2018-12-11 15:00

    Mueller will find a smocking gun

  22. jerry 2018-12-11 15:14

    What does “synergy” mean? It certainly has been used as a word to describe the relationship with trump and the Russians. Let’s look it up shall we? Let’s see now…. oh yes, found it. “Synergy the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” Mueller not only found the smoking gun, it was still in the little hands of trump and his mafia gang.

  23. Donald Pay 2018-12-11 16:18

    While OldSarg is complaining about federal agencies going after Trump, let’s see who’s not going after Hillary’s favorite company. What has happened to the Uranium One-Russia-Hillary investigation? Wasn’t that company a threat to national security? Why has Trump refused to shut that company down? Oh, wait, that’s Putin’s company. Right. Got it.

    By the way, the Trump Administration’s EPA has allowed Uranium One to continue to pollute groundwater by failing to finalize regulations meant to make sure that company and others clean up the water after they mine. And a Uranium One subsidiary mine was allowed to expand under Trump. Hmmm. Is this part of the payoff Trump is providing to Russia for installing him in office? WHERE IS THE INVESTIGATION!!!!

  24. Debbo 2018-12-11 16:32

    Talk of previous candidates or presidents or mysterious shadow governments is just silly distractions provided by rightwing power mongers to gullible minions. Irrelevant.

    Ole Baldy’s criminal acts are being documented by Mr. Mueller and the Southern District of New York. The latter is the one that really has Ole Baldy by his microscopic boy parts. He has no control over state courts, nor can he provide pardons in his efforts to obstruct justice.

    “Justice.” The last thing Ole Baldy wants, but what every patriotic American craves. So of course Jason and OS do their part to destroy justice.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-11 18:05

    Jason, Dr. Bowman has expressed no personal opinion about Donald Trump. Dr. Bowman has said Trump’s clear drive to self-aggrandizement and autocracy justifies impeachment.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-11 18:07

    The fact that any other person in the world has committed a crime does not rebut Dr. Bowman’s argument that Donald Trump’s drive to autocracy undermines the Constitution and warrants impeachment.

  27. jerry 2018-12-11 18:10

    trump is a bully who got his milkshake drunk today by Nancy and Chuck. They drank it and then laughed directly in his face along with his potted plant, pence.

  28. jerry 2018-12-11 18:15

    Evangelicals? How did they get roped into this Constitutional drama? Simple, they are just as easy to throw Democracy away as Putin planed it. Starting with one of their head dudes, Falwell Jr. and a very interesting relationship with a pool kid, or as we say “synergy”.

    “Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen, who is now facing a federal criminal investigation, helped arrange Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump in January 2016, BuzzFeed News has learned.

    The relationship between Cohen and Falwell Jr. has not been previously reported, but the two have been acquainted since 2012, according to a source with direct knowledge of Falwell’s decision to endorse Trump. The source, a high-ranking official at Liberty University, said that Falwell Jr. occasionally visited Cohen’s office in New York City but that there was no business relationship between the two men.

    According to a separate source with knowledge of Trump’s campaign, Cohen was so confident in Falwell Jr.’s support that he and Trump assured others, even before Trump announced his candidacy, that Falwell Jr. would issue an endorsement.”

  29. RJ 2018-12-11 21:36

    Jason, who’s the current sitting president again? If to this day you still defend him, you’re a lost cause.

  30. Adam 2018-12-11 23:22

    Charles Manson never actually murdered anyone; he convinced others to murder for him – yet he went to prison for longer than any of his grunts.

    I think there are remarkable, uncanny similarities between Trump hiring all the best people to do his illegal dirty work and the Charles Manson playbook.

    Because of Gen. Flynn, I no longer trust that our U.S. Military Generals might be pure enough in heart and mind to resist against being made to sabotage their very own country with help of a foreign enemy. If radical American conservatism and Russia can team up to hack the brain of a U.S. General, then we should all stand amazed to watch how weak and stupid our highest echelons in national defense actually are.

    Thune and Rounds are complicit in the cover up of some of the very worst atrocities this country has ever seen.

  31. grudznick 2018-12-11 23:56

    So…Manson is kind of like a variety of fellows who worked for the Education Department. And now they are just elsewhere, but the minions all got theirs.

  32. OldSarg 2018-12-12 05:56

    Trump is actually John Galt.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-12 06:30

    John Galt had honest drive, intelligence, and uncompromising philosophical principles. john Galt fought against autocracy. John Galt is in many ways the opposite of Donald Trump.

  34. happy camper 2018-12-12 07:32

    We are going to survive Trump but surprisingly his approval rating is similar to Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Ford and Truman at the same point in their Presidencies the other seven in this comparison were higher.
    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/

  35. leslie 2018-12-12 07:48

    Fed or state ed, grdz? Sidestepping trump i see. How about dusty marion and john t? Noem? But u voted for trump?

  36. Erica 2018-12-12 10:08

    This is what happens when civica is no longer taught in schools like it used to be.

    Although many people dislike Trump, far more people seem to be in favor of him considering he won the election and his ratings are up. Thankfully we still live in a society where a sitting president can NOT be impeached solely because specific people dislike him; he would have to actually commit crimes worthy of an impeachment, which he hasn’t.

  37. bearcreekbat 2018-12-12 10:24

    Erica, so far Trump has been accused of two federal felonies designed to mislead voters in the 2016 election. If these accusations are insufficient to justify bringing impeachment proceedings to determine whether he is will be found guilty of these felonies, what sort of allegations do you think would necessary?

  38. mike from iowa 2018-12-12 12:17

    Cohen gets three years in prison. Maybe he’ll help crucify the Russian plant in the kremlin annex.

  39. Debbo 2018-12-12 13:43

    Great links Mike.

    I wonder if Ole Baldy will get to share a cell with members of the groups he so cruelly disparaged? Wouldn’t that be nice? 😄 My money is on Karma.

  40. jerry 2018-12-12 14:51

    In real state governments, here is how it works “Here are the states with extended deadlines for enrollment:
    California – January 15, 2019
    Colorado – January 15, 2019
    D.C. – January 31, 2019
    Massachusetts – January 23, 2019
    Minnesota – January 13, 2019
    New York – January 31, 2019
    Rhode Island – January 31, 2019

  41. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-13 20:04

    Erica seems to have ignored Dr. Bowman’s argument, which is that the history and precedent on which the Founders drew make clear that impeachment does not demand one specific technical crime but rather may be predicated on a demonstrated record of undermining the Constitution with autocratic actions.

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