No, This Isn’t Impeachable Either, Just Unethical And Illegal

They are whooping it up at the Trump-Haters Club, because President Trump will have to pay $2 million in damages to nonprofit groups as a penalty for what can only be called a fraudulent use of his foundation in 2016. As part of the settlement agreement,  the President had to admit misusing funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accessing them to assist his campaign, pay off debts of businesses he owned, including Mar-a-Lago and the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County,  and, as an especially obnoxious move,  purchasing a $10,000 portrait of himself to hand in one of his Florida hotels. New York’s Attorney General  filed suit  accusing the Trump family of using the foundation to benefit various businesses and assist Trump’s  presidential run. You can’t use a non-profit like that; this is the kind of scam that got Tom DeLay thrown in prison.

The President admitted that the alleged charity charity gave his campaign complete control over the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at an Iowa fund-raiser for veterans in January 2016. It was in fact a fund-raiser for the campaign, not veterans.

Nice.

Yet this is just more evidence of what we already knew, or should have. Donald Trump has the ethics of a street pimp…an unethical street pimp.  Not only was this widely known when he ran for President, he didn’t make much of an effort to hide it. As a businessman, his routine has been to see what he could get away with, then deny, fight and delay until the jig is up, and then cut the best deal he can.

I’m sick of explaining this, so I’ll default to the short version: knowing his character flaws and history, the public elected him President anyway. That decision is valid, and must be respected, especially considering the alternative (talk about misusing foundations!) Anything that the President did before he was elected short of a capital crime or treason is irrelevant. Presidents should not be impeached because of their past acts or their revealed character; that is not what the Constitution directs, not what the Founders intended, and not the standard the nation has observed.

When I pointed out the idiocy and corruption indicated by Virginians electing a statutory rapist to the Virginia Senate, perhaps my most Trump-Deranged friend, as I assumed he would, immediately argued that it was hypocritical for me to condemn Joe Morrissey, when I have consistently argued that President Trump’s election demanded a level of support and respect his “sex crimes.” and other unsavory conduct. I told him that when Virginians held “Not my Senator!” protests regarding Morrissey and Virginian Republicans and the news media set out to harass him and obstruct his efforts to do the job he was elected to do, I would take exactly the same position regarding the new state senator that I have with President Trump.

Only leaders of exemplary character should be elected President in a perfect world. The United States has been fortunate to find many leaders who approach that standard; it has also elected quite a few Presidents with deficits of character that approached Donald Trump’s or exceeded them. Some of those Presidents were among our most revered, successful and effective. Character is important; so are results. None of the previous Presidents with hard-wired unethical instincts—I  put Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Clinton in this category, among others—faced what President Trump has faced from the beginning of his first term. One more piece of evidence that this President is who he is doesn’t change the verdict here that his treatment by his enemies has been unfair, unjust, undemocratic, divisive, and destructive.

37 thoughts on “No, This Isn’t Impeachable Either, Just Unethical And Illegal

  1. Jack, as far as I know this stuff with the Trump Foundation isn’t being considered within the impeachment probe.

    So what’s your point? Sure, some trump opponents have wanted him out since day one. That’s true for every president. By the impeachment managers (Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler etc) weren’t on the impeachment bandwagon until the Ukraine gambit was revealed. And THAT appears to be an impeachable offense. Take off your blinders.

    • The point is that it’s not impeachable, and in fact irrelevant to the impeachment arguments, which are based, and have been based from teh beginning, on the fact that the guy is an ethics free creep. That’s been the foundation of the impeachments plots all along: he must be guilty of something impeachable, because he’s just that kind of guy.

      The post is clear.

    • The point is that it’s not impeachable, and in fact irrelevant to the impeachment arguments, which are based, and have been based from teh beginning, on the fact that the guy is an ethics free creep. That’s been the foundation of the impeachments plots all along: he must be guilty of something impeachable, because he’s just that kind of guy.

      The post is clear.

    • “By the impeachment managers (Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler etc) weren’t on the impeachment bandwagon until the Ukraine gambit was revealed. And THAT appears to be an impeachable offense.”

      Please explain your position on the Ukraine phone call and how you think it is an “impeachable offense”.

      • If Trump leveraged the foreign aid dollars of the United States in order to start an unwarranted investigation into a political rival, it would absolutely be impeachable.

        The operative word is “unwarranted”, though. One could argue that Hunter Biden receiving a position at Burisma that paid him $50,000 US monthly that just so happened to coincide with a series of negotiations involving Joe Biden, who went on to brag about how he, himself, had leveraged American foreign aid to have a prosecutor who may have been investigating his son fired might provide a warrant to push for an investigation.

        There are two fig leaves here;

        The first is Joe’s. His fig leaf was that the prosecutor he had fired was corrupt. To rip that off: Welcome to Eastern European politics, Joe. I’m sure that the prosecutor was, in fact, corrupt, but so is half of the Ukrainian government, the idea that Joe had to leverage American aid for the head of one corrupt politician is… quaint. And that he chose to pick the corrupt official that just so happened to be investigating his son is… Well. I haven’t bought a bridge lately, just saying.

        The second is Trump’s. His fig leaf is that he’s investigating corruption and interference in the 2016 election. Sure. Of all the avenues that he could have chosen to investigate, he chose to spend his time and send his personal attorney on the one that just so happened to have a suspect with the same last name as the top contender for his 2020 opposition. I’ll believe that’s a coincidence when my shit turns purple and smells of rainbow sherbet.

        I’ll defend Trump when I think it’s warranted. I’m gonna let other people fight on this hill, because to me it looks like a self-destructive, small, petty, vindictive abusive use of his power.

        • “a self-destructive, small, petty, vindictive abusive use of his power.” is probably right, but 1) since it also has a valid governmental purpose, as you said, and 2) since petty abuses should not be grounds for impeachment, it’s a weak case.

          Also “abuse of power” is a subjective and virtually meaningless term. It means that the President has the power to do something people don’t like. On the other hand, if President Obama directed the IRS to harass tea party groups, that would have exceeded his power, an impeachable abuse.

          • It would seem that this could (should?) be treated under the same standards as campaign expenses are. That is, even costs for things that personally benefit a candidate (suits, haircuts, paying troublesome porn stars to go away) are considered valid if there’s even the slightest argument to be made that the campaign also benefits. In this case there is, as you say, a valid government interest in knowing whether corrupt insider deals were being facilitated by foreign powers and our government officials. And that’s all that really matters.

        • HT wrote, “The second is Trump’s. His fig leaf is that he’s investigating corruption and interference in the 2020 election.”

          Did you mean to write 2016 election?

          Otherwise that’s a pretty good description of things. Thanks for writing it.

          The difference I’m seeing is that what Biden did is historical fact and he has already admitted what he did and he’s quite proud of it. Biden’s son did in fact reap the financial benefits of his Dad’s quid pro quo, or as some Democrats are now calling it “bribery” because quid pro quo is not impeachable offense but bribery is an impeachable offense.

          Trump is in a lose lose situation with Ukraine. Trump’s actions in regards to trying to get Ukraine to investigate the apparent corruption in Ukraine will ALWAYS be seen by Democrats as being corrupt influence by Trump into the 2020 election, regardless if it was or not. If Trump doesn’t push Ukraine to investigate apparent corruption it won’t get done. The Democrats ALWAYS see everything Trump does in a negative light with absolutely no possibility of discussing that it’s a positive.

          Let’s face it the Democrats don’t want any kind of investigation that could possibly interfere with their ability to win the 2020 election; however, they’re fine with starting one investigation after another that might help them win the 2020 election. Biden is not going to be the Democratic Party nominee unless they’re rigging it like they did for Hillary, but if they do have Biden as their nominee they certainly don’t want any corruption investigation to taint his campaign.

          What’s damning for the Democrats is their clear pattern of playing a dangerous game of the boy who cried wolf since Trump took office, it’s a soft coup and I don’t believe a damn thing they say anymore. That said; Trump, Giuliani, Obama, Clinton, Biden, Pelosi, Schiff, the whistle blower, etc, etc, none of these people are above the law.

          • I’m following the impeachment story as closely as I reasonably can, but so far it’s my understanding that the timeline doesn’t work out if we’re to believe that Trump was leveraging aid money. I may be missing something. I’m sure Trump was hoping to expose actual corruption by Biden, but there’s exactly zero things wrong with that, whatever the motivation.

            Like most people I’m waiting for some evidence that Trump dangled aid money in return for leaks or misinformation about Biden. Since the Clinton campaign provably paid foreigners to make up “dirt” on Trump and then leaked it to the press, I’d like to see that thoroughly investigated too. Let all the chips fall where they may.

        • I’ll say it again, although nobody seems to care: Given that the Ukrainian prosecutor general had already stated publicly several times that (1) he possessed evidence of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and of misconduct by Burisma and Biden and (2) he wanted to give his evidence to United States law enforcement officials, how could it possibly be “unwarranted” for Trump to ask Zelenskyy to look into the matter?

          • Look, at the end of the day, I leave the door open to the idea that this was in fact, legitimate. but it’s like Trump is fundamentally incapable in doing these sorts of things in any way other than the worst possible.

            He sent Rudy Giuliani over. There is no reason for the president to send his personal attorney to assist in a legitimate investigation. And that makes it feel less legitimate and more spiteful

            • “I leave the door open to the idea that this was in fact, legitimate.”

              I commend you for that.

              “Trump is fundamentally incapable in doing these sorts of things in any way other than the worst possible.”

              That’s parroting what the Democrats and Progressive want everyone to believe.

              “There is no reason for the president to send his personal attorney to assist in a legitimate investigation.”

              No reason? That statement is way to broad; therefore, I think it’s false.

              • Well, first off, I wrote:

                “but it’s like Trump is fundamentally incapable in doing these sorts of things in any way other than the worst possible.”

                And I know you have serious problems understanding qualifying statements, but really… This episode in particular was exceptionally ham-handed, and I don’t think it’s special. I fully stand by what I wrote.

                Second, I don’t particularly care what you think Steve, but if you want to try to give a legitimate reason for the president to send his personal attorney to assist in a state function, I’ll be all ears.

                • “And I know you have serious problems understanding qualifying statements, but really… “

                  Geeze HT, stop being a jerk and just talk.

                  Do you actually think that using the words “but it’s like” would have or should have changed what I wrote. Here’s a fact for you HT: even with those three words up front it’s still parroting what the Democrats and Progressive want everyone to believe.

                  “Second, I don’t particularly care what you think Steve”

                  Big surprise and stop being a jerk and get over yourself.

                  “if you want to try to give a legitimate reason for the president to send his personal attorney to assist in a state function, I’ll be all ears.”

                  If my recollection is correct, Presidents send people that they trust, sometimes non-government people, to other countries for all sorts of things. Can I name any, nope and I’m not going to data dive to try to come up with something to prove your blanket statement false, but that doesn’t mean such reasons don’t exist. What you did was to negate that any such possibility could ever exist and such blanket statements self-evidently incorrect.

                  • “Do you actually think that using the words “but it’s like” would have or should have changed what I wrote. ”

                    Yes! Steve, I do. And I don’t think that’s either hard to understand, unusual or unreasonable.

                    I’m rude to you because I resent having to try to dumb myself down to your level of ability to process information to get my point across. It’s not my fault if you take qualified statements or opinions as if they were being presented as fact. That’s your own reading comprehension problem, and I refuse to be responsible for your mental midgetry. If you don’t like me being rude to you after literal years of you being too stupid to understand what I’m trying to say and choosing to interpret my comments in literally the worst possible ways, then I recommend you just stop replying to me. Because I’m done with you.

                    • ” It’s not my fault if you take qualified statements or opinions as if they were being presented as fact.”

                      That’s NOT what I did. If you actually think that this statement “that’s parroting what the Democrats and Progressive want everyone to believe” was some kind of evidence that I thought you had presented that as “fact” then I’m not the one with reading comprehension problems? You’re reading shit between the lines that’s simply not there and that’s on you.

                      Personally I think the problem here is that your extreme bias towards me has made you blind and stupid to anything I write and you should just stop reading anything I write because all you’;re going to do is twist it into some BS and get your underwear in a bundle because of your misinterpretation and then follow that up with all kinds of personal attacks.

                      “dumb myself down to your level of ability to process information”, “your own reading comprehension problem”, “I refuse to be responsible for your mental midgetry”, “after literal years of you being too stupid to understand”

                      I’m sorry HT I was wrong before, you’re not a jerk you’re an asshole. Bite me HT.

                      “Because I’m done with you.”

                      Bull.

                      You’ve said that same kind of thing before.

                      If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

                      I’ve tried with you and most of what I get back is personal insults, do you honestly think you’re going to chase me away? I’ll likely continue to trying with you when I think I should say something and I don’t really care whether you like what I write or not.

    • PA: Surely you are not saying Pelosi, Shiff, et.al. weren’t hunting for an impeachment bandwagon to jump on. It’s just they think they have found one they can ride a bit longer…say until November 4, 2020, right?

  2. Donald Trump has the ethics of a street pimp…an unethical street pimp.

    There is such a thing as an ethical street pimp? Who knew?

    Anything that the President did before he was elected short of a capital crime or treason is irrelevant. Presidents should not be impeached because of their past acts or their revealed character; that is not what the Constitution directs, not what the Founders intended, and not the standard the nation has observed.

    Did we learn nothing from Whitewater? The Democrats made this very same argument back then. I guess, in a way, the Republicans are hoist on their own petard to the extent it is coming around.

    But you are right, I think. Conduct like this is not relevant to impeachment, or should not be, even though pre-Presidential conduct has been used repeatedly to justify creating articles of impeachment repeatedly in recent history. I suppose, in a sense, it is karmic.

  3. Again, Trump proves himself both loathsome and questionable, at best, regarding his decisions and, at least in the past, their legality.

    None of this is impeachable.

    My concern lies in the apparent orchestration of stories of “new” crimes or alleged crimes to affect the upcoming election.

    My Dad is in the hospital and he is as left as one gets. (Sickening in its own right.) Having to listen to MSNBC as I visit him is like hearing the news from an alternate reality. The virulent bias is beyond extraordinary. And, in large measure, that’s what it is.

    By the way, when will Hillary and Joe be indicted for their apparent crimes while in office? Hmmmm…never. This is proof of a wholly political two tiered justice system.Not sure how much more of this our representative republic can take before it turns truly ugly.

  4. Please explain your position on the Ukraine phone call and how you think it is an “impeachable offense”

    That was a hit and run comment, Steve. No substance, just repeated talking points.

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