The question keeps coming up about whether a president can be charged, or maybe even be investigated, while in office.
The Constitution has clear instructions on what to do if a president is removed based upon conviction of certain crimes, which could not happen without such an investigation being held and charges being filed.
Article II Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States reads:
Article 2 – The Executive Branch
Section 4 – Disqualification
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Bribery and other high Crimes and Misdemeanor charges are no doubt already forthcoming from the Mueller staff based upon everything we have already seen, especially the developments from this last week.
Mueller is now up to 192 indictment charges, nearly thirty people and three companies are among those charged already and the indictments clearly indicate charges against more as yet unnamed conspirators coming soon.
Roger Stone openly admitted that not only was he likely the unnamed “U.S. Person” serving as the conduit between a Russian operative and the President’s campaign but that the only person on that campaign he had contact with during that time was Donald Trump. Thus, openly confessing live on CNN not only his own guilt but that of President Trump.
According to the indictment: “The Conspirators, posting as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back…”
“In initially denying that this passage referred to him, Stone stepped in it, bigly. He told CNN (emphasis mine) that he didn’t think he was the unnamed person in the indictment because, ‘My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials.'”
And then, “I think I probably am the person referred to,” he said on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time.
The Mueller investigation has already documented quite a few different ways the Russians were funneling money to the Trump campaign, including through the NRA, so bribery has easily been established.
Each of these by itself is grounds for impeachment and conviction, which would then invalidate the placement of the entire administration under the Constitutional article referenced above.
Now, after the Helsinki Summit, we’re hearing talk of Treason.
Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.
However, the Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. Acts of dis-loyalty during peacetime are not considered treasonous under the Constitution. Nor do acts of Espionage committed on behalf of an ally constitute treason.
It is also important to note that under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment.
In 2012, the Pentagon concluded that computer sabotage by another country could constitute an act of war.
The officials emphasize, however, that not every attack would lead to retaliation. Such a cyber attack would have to be so serious it would threaten American lives, commerce, infrastructure or worse, and there would have to be indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved.
Saundra McDavid, Faculty Member of School of Business at American Military University, explains:
Actions that would qualify as acts of war are 1) the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems, and 2) computer-induced failures of power grids, transportation networks or financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations. These events would rise to the level of cyber attacks that could prompt a declaration of war.
We have linked the cyber attack to Russia, both through social engineering, through hacking efforts against the DNC and Clinton campaign, through manipulation of our voting machines, and our voter registration databases.
We have established links for the funding of it through the NRA.
We have linked both the Russian operatives and the the NRA operatives to the Trump campaign and directly to the President through Roger Stone, at the very least.
The result of these actions is the destruction of American environmental protections by Trump appointed EPA chief Scott Pruitt.
The near complete undoing of Civil Rights by Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos in the Justice and Education departments respectively.
The stoking of racial and religious hate crimes by the President himself.
The threat of abandoning our allies in the United Nations along with the agreement to pull back from North Korea leaving all the former territories of the U.S.S. R. unprotected and ripe for re absorption by Putin’s Russia.
Starting trade wars that are detrimental to American farmers and businesses, and our allies, but beneficial to Russia who will fill the gap in product loss on the international markets caused by the tariff wars.
Trump is dismantling our government from the top of every organization downward. He is destroying long standing economic alliances. He is putting American jobs at risk while claiming the corporate profits are rising. He is putting American lives at risk by removing environmental protections of them and stoking violent hate crimes. His administration is committing crimes against humanity at our southern border, by actively abducting and trafficking in immigrant children while extorting their families for political purposes.
No matter what issue is raised about this president, and his administration, it all boils down simply.
We need to remember that we are fighting against a small group of kleptocrats put in power by an adversarial government with the purposes of dismantling America’s democracy and its international influence, and they are using willful ignorance, racism, misogyny, religious bigotry, and divisive partisan politics to accomplish it.
When viewed in that light, every single thing he has done, and everything others are doing to defend him, makes perfect sense.
The president of the United States accepted bribes from a hostile foreign government and conspired to assume power and put that government’s interests in advance of Americans to the determent of American lives.
The attack on our elections was an act of war directly resulting in the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems and financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations.
It has threatened American lives, commerce, infrastructure and worse, and there is indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved
This is treason.
This is every single issue the founders said could individually result in not only the removal of the President, but also his Vice President and every civil service member of his administration. This should invalidate any appointments or laws executive orders issued by such a president as well.
Any member of congress who, knowing all of these things, continues to obstruct Mueller’s investigation is just as guilty as those already convicted of these acts.
There will be pressure, very soon, from Republicans on Trump to resign, as Nixon did, to prevent impeachment. If this happens, and the investigation stalls as a result, the rest of the Trump administration and cabinet will be allowed to remain in place.
There is enough evidence already to impeach and remove them all.
Barring that, absolutely no further appointments should be confirmed until the investigation has completed, especially not life long judicial appointments.