Trump’s abuse of power in #Ukrainegate has cemented the realization for many people that articles of impeachment need to be drawn up regarding the president’s criminal activity. But we know this process would have already started if Trump had been successful in firing special prosecutor Mueller, as it’s now clear he tried to do in June of 2017 and again in December 2017.
Trump has brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the FBI and Department of Justice, threatened to shut down news organizations for reporting the truth, tried to use the levers of government to punish political enemies, and — in a direct violation of the Constitution — taken money from foreign governments.
His comments in support of pro-Nazi demonstrators, derogatory descriptions of immigrants, attacks on women of color in Congress, demeaning descriptions of majority-black cities, and bigoted family separation policy are disgusting and provide a window into the racism that motivates his divisive rhetoric and agenda. And these comments have clearly driven white supremacists to commit mass murder against Americans.
And in court filings on December 7th, 2018 federal prosecutors concluded that Trump participated in these federal crimes when he directed Cohen to commit campaign finance violations by paying off two women during his 2016 campaign and then reimbursing him. The assertion marked the first time that federal prosecutors have deemed Trump an active participant in the conspiracy. Any other citizen not the president would have been already indicted by now.
But perhaps most jarring is Trump’s obvious status as being compromised by Vladimir Putin, which was clearly evidenced in his July 2018 press conference where he sided with the murderous Russian dictator over our own intelligence agencies.
His subservience to Putin becomes more understandable though when you realize Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 Trump Tower treason meeting, making him — at the very least — an accessory after the fact to a vast criminal conspiracy against the United States. And it’s now clear he was pursuing a Trump Tower Moscow deal, including a penthouse for the Russian dictator, well into the 2016 campaign, and then Trump instructed his lawyer to lie to Congress about such facts.
All of this sounds crazy until you realize the FBI and law enforcement were thinking the exact same thing when they opened an inquiry into whether Trump was a Russian asset.
And on April 18, 2019, we finally got to see the Mueller Report. These are the 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump, as relayed in the index of the report. These are damning examples of impeachable offenses committed by the president, which Mueller said Congress should investigate.
But Trump has refused all requests from Congress. One of the articles of impeachment against Nixon was “contempt of Congress,” while the third article said Nixon had “failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas” and “willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.”
Trump has already met and surpassed this threshold with his unprecedented stonewalling of Congress. And the fact that he now says he will accept foreign help to win the 2020 election should only further embolden Congress to act.
Thanks to a whistleblower, we also now know that Trump was dangling military aid to Ukraine in exchange for them investigating Joe Biden’s family and the September 2019 release of a transcript and the whistleblower’s complaint further confirmed this fact, as did Mick Mulvaney’s admission on October 17 and then again with U.S. Envoy Bill Taylor’s testimony on October 22 and November 12 and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s deposition on October 29 — and then most shockingly, on November 5th in private and on November 20th in public, Trump’s own politically-appointed Ambassador Gordon Sondland reversed his earlier testimony and admitted to a quid pro quo.
And not to leave any doubt, Trump stood on the South Lawn of the White House on October 3rd, 2019 and repeated his call for Ukraine to investigate his political opponents and even included China in his demands.
To add insult to self-inflicted injury, Trump has repeatedly threatened the whistleblower and Vindman, which is witness tampering and yet another impeachable offense.
Articles of impeachment need to be drawn up and voted on immediately. The exact details about drawing up articles of impeachment can be argued about within the House of Representatives, but there are a number of potential charges and criminal infractions from which members of Congress can choose.
See the full list below:
- Since the moment he was sworn in January 20th, 2017, Trump has repeatedly violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by using the office of the presidency to receive compensation and gifts from foreign governments and agents.
- According to a May 2017 New York Times article, Trump was aware that Michael Flynn was under investigation and working as a foreign agent when they hired him in January 2017 to be National Security Advisor, granting him access to our nation’s most highly classified secrets.
- In January 2018, NBC News reported that Flynn never told anyone about his January 24, 2017 meeting with the FBI in which he lied to investigators about whether or not he discussed Russian sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak. Trump and his team became aware of this fact two days later on January 26 when former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates informed the White House Counsel Don McGahn of this fact. It was the next day that Trump invited then-FBI Director Comey to the White House for dinner and asked for a loyalty pledge — and even more inexplicable was that Flynn was allowed to remain in his post for 18 more days.
- Comey wrote a memo in February 2017, later confirmed in his public testimony June 8th 2017, saying Trump cleared the room of witnesses and then asked him to shut down an investigation into former Flynn. This is where he asked Comey about “letting Flynn go.” This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- In March 2017, Trump asked both the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to end the Trump-Russia investigation. In the incident March 22nd with Coats, Trump again asked everyone to clear the room — except CIA Director Pompeo — before making his illegal request. This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- According to a January 2018 New York Times article, in March 2017 Trump ordered McGahn to try to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Justice Department investigation into collusion. When this effort failed, Trump raged, saying Sessions should be protecting him from the probe, and asking: “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- On March 30th 2017, according to Comey’s Senate testimony, Trump calls Comey at his office and tells Comey that the Russia investigation is a “cloud” inhibiting his ability to act as president. Trump assures Comey that he has had nothing to do with Russia and asks Comey what he can do to “lift the cloud.” This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- Again in March 2017, Trump angrily berated Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation and demanded he reverse his decision. Sessions refused, but this is further evidence of Trump’s criminal intent to commit obstruction of justice.
- Trump sent text messages to Flynn — including one that said “stay strong” — as late as April 2017 in an attempt to influence his possible testimony and prevent him from cooperating with authorities. This is witness tampering.
- On April 11th 2017, according to Comey’s Senate testimony, Trump calls Comey again and asks what he has done about Trump’s request to publicize the fact that he is not personally under investigation. Comey tells Trump that he relayed Trump’s request to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente but that he has not heard back. Trump reiterates that the “cloud” is interfering with his ability to act as president, and asks whether he should have his staff contact Boente. Comey advises Trump of the traditional channel, which is for White House Counsel to contact DOJ leadership to make such requests. Trump says he will do so and tells Comey, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” Comey responds by reiterating that the proper channel for Trump’s request is for Trump to follow the DOJ chain of command.
- Trump tried to intimidate Yates by accusing her via Twitter of leaking classified information just hours before her testimony before Congress May 8th, 2017. This is also witness tampering and intimidation.
- Trump fired Comey May 9th, 2017 and admitted — both on national TV to NBC’s Lester Holt May 11th and to the Russians in the Oval Office on May 10th — that it was to stop the Trump-Russia investigation. This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- According to a January 2018 New York Times article, the letter that Trump originally drafted firing Comey in May 2017 — whose release was blocked by his advisers — contained an explicit reference to the Russia probe in the first sentence, according to the Times’s sources. The White House had previously told the Times that the letter didn’t mention the Russia probe.
- Trump divulged highly classified intelligence information to high-ranking Russian officials in the Oval Office May 10th 2017. This is mishandling of classified material. On April 29th 2017, Trump also told the President of the Philippines sensitive classified information about the location of our nuclear submarines.
- Trump threatened Comey via Twitter. May 12, 2017 to not discuss their earlier meetings together and insinuated he had tape recordings of their conversations. Trump then bragged about influencing Comey’s testimony during an interview that aired June 23rd on ‘Fox and Friends.’ This is again witness tampering and intimidation.
- According to a September 2017 New York Times article, on May 17, of that year, shortly after hearing that the Justice Department had appointed Mueller to take over the Russia investigation, Trump berated Sessions. The appointment had caused the administration again to lose control over the investigation, and Trump accused Sessions of “disloyalty.” This is more evidence of obstruction of justice — and this and other pressures Trump placed on Sessions were listed among the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- In June 2017, according to a January 2018 New York Times report, Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller, but McGahn threatened to quit. This would have been obstruction of justice had the firing occur, but it shows Trump’s intent to obstruct — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report
- This is directly from the Mueller Report on Trump’s obstruction: Two days after directing McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President made another attempt to affect the course of the Russia investigation. On June 19, 2017, the President met one-on-one in the Oval Office with his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a trusted advisor outside the government, and dictated a message for Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions. The message said that Sessions should publicly announce that, notwithstanding his recusal from the Russia investigation, the investigation was “very unfair” to the President, the President had done nothing wrong, and Sessions planned to meet with the Special Counsel and “ let [him] move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections.” Lewandowski said he understood what the President wanted Sessions to do.
- Also directly from the Mueller Report on Trump’s obstruction: One month later, in another private meeting with Lewandowski on July 19, 2017, the
President asked about the status of his message for Sessions to limit the Special Counsel investigation to future election interference. Lewandowski told the President that the message would be delivered soon. Hours after that meeting, the President publicly criticized Sessions in an interview with the New York Times, and then issued a series of tweets making it clear that Sessions’s job was in jeopardy. Lewandowski did not want to deliver the President’s message personally, so he asked senior White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver it to Sessions. Dearborn was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.
- Trump personally dictated a statement he knew to be false on July 8, 2017 regarding his son’s infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to discuss collusion opportunities with Kremlin-connected operatives. This is clearly obstruction of justice and places the President directly in the middle of a Trump-Russia cover-up. We later learned Trump knew of the June 2016 Trump Tower treason meeting in advance and he also later admitted the purpose of the meeting, which makes him — at the very least — an accessory after the fact of a vast criminal conspiracy against the United States and further strengthens the obstruction charges against him given the Air Force One statement. This incident and Trump’s attempted cover up was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- Just hours after FBI agents conducted a July 26th, 2017 pre-dawn raid of his campaign manager Paul Manafort’s house, Trump was urging Sessions to dismiss the acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe via Twitter. This is potentially obstruction of justice.
- The New York Times reported in March 2018 that Trump and his lawyers discussed pardoning Flynn and Manafort in the summer of 2017. The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, who has since resigned, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation. This is clearly a conspiracy to commit witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
- Regarding dangling pardons and witness tampering, this is directly from the Mueller Report: After Flynn withdrew from a joint defense agreement with the President and began cooperating with the government, the President’s personal counsel left a message for Flynn’s attorneys reminding them of the President’s warm feelings towards Flynn, which he said “still remains,” and asking for a “heads up” if Flynn knew “information that implicates the President.” When Flynn’s counsel reiterated that Flynn could no longer share information pursuant to a joint defense agreement, the President’s personal counsel said he would make sure that the President knew that Flynn’s actions reflected “hostility” towards the President. During Manafort’s prosecution and when the jury in his criminal. trial was deliberating, the President praised Manafort in public, said that Manafort was being treated unfairly, and declined to rule out a pardon. After Manafort was convicted, the President called Manafort “a brave man” for refusing to “break” and said that “flipping almost ought to be outlawed.”
- On August 7th, Trump called Sen. Thom Tillis to let him know he was unhappy with legislation that would potentially prevent him from firing special counsel Mueller in order to end the Trump-Russia investigation. This was another effort at obstruction of justice by the President.
- On August 9th, Trump called Mitch McConnell and began to yell at him about his failure to “protect him” from the Russia investigation. This is yet another piece of evidence in this long and public effort to obstruct justice in a federal investigation.
- In October 2017, Trump suggested NBC News have their license to broadcast news revoked because they aired stories he did not like, despite all evidence that they were true. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment to our Constitution.
- On November 3rd 2017, Trump sent a series of tweets and made numerous statements which attempted to turn the immense power of the Justice Department and federal criminal investigative agencies against his political adversaries — exactly the same activity that Congress was ready to impeach Richard Nixon for in 1973.
- A November 30th 2017, a New York Times story detailed numerous accounts from U.S. Senators of Trump calling them and asking them to finish or end their Trump-Russia investigations. This is again part of a pattern of obstruction of justice.
- On December 2nd 2017, Trump tweeted “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” This is an admission of obstruction of justice because it shows he was trying to end the investigation into Flynn and knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he began asking Comey for loyalty.
- According to an April 2018 New York Times article, Trump wanted to fire Mueller again in December 2017, but was talked down by his lawyers. This again shows his intent and desire to obstruct justice and that he has the mindset to obstruct justice.
- On December 23rd 2017, Trump repeatedly attacked McCabe on Twitter in an effort to intimidate him and retaliate for recent closed door testimony in which McCabe verified Comey’s account that Trump demanded a loyalty pledge before firing him. This is again witness tampering and an attempt to obstruct justice.
- According to a March 7, 2018 New York Times article, Trump has been talking to White House staffers about what they told Mueller in their interviews. This is possible witness tampering and further exemplifies Trump’s consciousness of guilt. The article also describes a conversation in which Trump asked McGahn to put out a statement saying Trump did not ask him to fire Mueller, which of course Trump did ask him to fire Mueller in June 2017. This is clearly obstruction of justice — and was listed as one of the 10 examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report.
- Throughout, Trump (and this quotation comes from the Nixon article of impeachment) “made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States.” Among other things, Trump repeatedly made untruthful statements about American intelligence agencies’ conclusions regarding Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
- Comey told three top FBI officials about conversations he had with President Donald Trump before he was fired last May. On March 17, 2018, Trump fired Andrew McCabe, which means all three officials — McCabe, James Rybicki, and James Baker — have since been forced out of the bureau, or reassigned within it.
- On April 5th, 2018, aboard Air Force One, Trump lied to reporters and the American people when he said he did not know about the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to purchase her silence about their sexual affair. However, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani then said on May 2nd that Trump did indeed reimburse his lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 and thus obviously knew about the payment. And on December 13th we learned that Trump was in the room to discuss this conspiracy in August 2015.
- Trump then confirmed he reimbursed Cohen in a May 3rd tweet and then this information was confirmed again in the May 16th financial disclosure forms that were released.
- Trump then lied again in August 2018 about when he learned about these payments when he contradicted an audiotaped conversation with Cohen.
- A November 9th, 2018 article from the Wall Street Journal laid out these lies again by showing how federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of Trump’s direct participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws, specifically the large payments to Daniels and McDougal. In this entire deplorable episode, Trump has lied to the press, to the American people, and by not initially reporting the hush money payment, he has broken campaign finance laws.
- And finally, in a court filing on December 7th, 2018 we learned that Trump directed Michael Cohen to make the illegal hush money payments and then in a subsequent filing on December 12th we learned that AMI — the parent company for the National Enquirer — admitted that it made the hush money payment to McDougal in concert with the Trump campaign and for the purposes of influencing the election.
- A November 20, 2018 New York Times article revealed Trump urged the Justice Department in April of 2018 to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey. This is blatant obstruction of justice, as Comey would be a witness against the president and this type of behavior is exactly what drove articles of impeachment against Nixon — using the levers of government to punish your political enemies.
- In May of 2018, Trump violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by making a deal with the Chinese government to help the telecom giant ZTE in exchange for loans to fund a construction project that benefits his business.
- According to a May 2018 Washington Post article, Trump personally pushed U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon.com to ship packages, a dramatic move that probably would cost the company billions of dollars — and a clear case of Trump using government agencies to punish his very public enemy, Jeff Bezos. Articles of impeachment were drawn up against President Nixon for using the IRS to punish his enemies and this is no different.
- According to Politico, President Trump told a group of wealthy supporters in May 2018 about a battle in Syria that saw the U.S. military kill between 100 and 300 Russians, despite the fact that details of that battle are classified.
- In April 2018, Trump installed a policy of family separation for immigrant refugees seeking asylum in which children as young as three months old were torn from their mothers and older kids were forced to live in cages. Trump then lied repeatedly to the press and the American people that there was nothing he could do to stop the policy and even suggested we eliminate due process rights for anyone illegally entering our country. This is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution and his actions brought condemnation from the United Nations Human Rights council.
- On July 16, 2018, Trump stood on foreign soil next to Vladimir Putin and agreed with the Russian dictator’s assessment that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, ignoring the conclusions of his own intelligence services, a bi-partisan Senate Intelligence panel, and the special prosecutor’s findings. He literally chose the side of our enemy against his own people and by refusing to acknowledge that Russia meddled in our elections, he has also chosen not to protect us against all threats, foreign and domestic — a clear violation of the oath he swore on January 20, 2017. For these reasons, Trump should be impeached.
- Adding another piece of evidence to Mueller’s case of obstruction of justice against the president, Trump on August 1st, 2018 overtly and publicly called on Sessions to end the special counsel investigation and “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”
- Over a few days in early August 2018, Trump, once again, repeatedly attacked his own Attorney General and demanded he shut down the Mueller investigation. This is another example of obstruction of justice in plain sight to all.
- On August 14, 2018, former senior White House advisor Omarosa Manigault-Newman said Trump knew about the infamous 2016 hacked emails before Wikileaks released them — which, if true, would make Trump, at the very least, an accessory after the fact to a conspiracy to defraud the United States and greatly strengthen the case regarding Trump-Russia collusion.
- On Thursday, August 16th, 2018 — in a clear abuse of presidential power — Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and then linked his decision to do so to the Trump-Russia investigation. This is further evidence of obstruction of justice — and it’s worth noting that articles of impeachment were drawn up against Nixon because he used the levers of government power to punish his political enemies.
- On August 20th, 2018, Trump lashed out and attacked Mueller on Twitter in yet another attempt to thwart the Trump-Russia investigation. This is another example of Trump’s intent to obstruct justice.
- On August 21st, 2018, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations and said that Trump directed him to pay women to stay silent about damaging stories during the 2016 presidential campaign. This directly implicates Trump in a crime and places in doubt the very integrity of his election as president.
- The following day on August 22nd, Trump further implicated himself by insisting he is in the clear because the payments “weren’t taken out of campaign finance. They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.” That is not a defense. That is why it’s a crime. If the money came from the campaign, it would have been legal. The president just admitted to a crime — again — on national TV.
- In the same August 22nd interview, Trump again lied, saying he learned of the hush money payments “later on,” but that’s clearly not true because we hear him on tape discussing the payments with Michael Cohen BEFORE the payments were even made. This is the president again lying about his participation in a federal crime.
- In late August, Trump once again took to Twitter to slam his own Attorney General, urging him to both end the Russia investigation, investigate his political opponents, and to even question his manhood. This is more obstruction of justice and abuse of power. You can see a list of all his attacks on Sessions here.
- At a rally in Evansville, Indiana in late August 2018, Trump again lashed out at the FBI and DOJ and threatened to get involved and end their investigations into his corruption. This is more obvious examples of abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
- A new report in August 2018 commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico raised the death toll from Hurricane Maria to nearly 3,000 and many local government officials directly pinned blame for that new total on the Trump administration’s incompetent and neglectful response to the disaster. Trump’s lack of effort to protect American citizens is an impeachable offense.
- On Labor Day 2018, Trump again took to Twitter to attack his own Attorney General, this time urging him to end corruption investigations into two Republican members of Congress because it would help the GOP politically. This is again obstruction of justice and a blatant abuse of power.
- In the wake of the September 5th, 2018 publishing of an anonymous New York Times op-ed by a senior member of the administration, Trump went into a rage and called for Sessions and the Justice Department to investigate the matter and the newspaper. This is again an abuse of power and misuse of government resources for partisan political purposes.
- On September 17th, 2018, Trump cherry-picked documents and then had them declassified in order to interfere once again in the treason investigation he is facing and to target his political enemies. This is a clear abuse of power, an obvious obstruction of justice, and reminiscent of the actions of a banana republic dictator.
- On September 19th, 2018, Trump again attacked Sessions over his refusal to use his position as Attorney General to thwart the Trump-Russia treason investigation. He went as far as to declare “I don’t have an Attorney General.” This is one more example of obstruction of justice in plain view for all to see.
- On October 16, 2018, after a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Trump floated a completely unsubstantiated claim that “rogue killers” may be responsible for journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death. This was an obvious attempt to obstruct justice in the probe of the killings and an attempt to do the bidding of a foreign power due to his personal business interests. This is precisely what the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution was designed to prevent.
- On November 7th, 2018, Trump fired Sessions in order replace him with a partisan who is openly hostile to Mueller and his treason investigation. This is obviously obstruction of justice and could lead next to the dismissal of Mueller or Rosenstein and the use of various techniques to thwart the probe.
- On November 28, 2018 Trump openly contemplated a pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, which is a clear attempt to obstruct justice — and it’s exactly what Nixon was accused of doing when articles of impeachment were drawn up against him.
- On November 30, 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal. This is very bad for Trump. Cohen says he aimed to secure a lucrative business deal with Russians closely linked with Putin on Trump’s behalf during the 2016 presidential election — all while Trump was repeatedly championing better Washington-Moscow ties in campaign speeches. What’s worse, it’s entirely possible Trump knew a close confidant willingly lied to Congress.
- On December 3rd, 2018, Trump committed obstruction of justice and witness tampering on Twitter. Trump’s first statement went after Cohen. In his tweet, Trump alleged that Cohen lied to Mueller and called for a severe penalty, demanding that his former fixer “serve a full and complete sentence.” After the overt attack on Cohen came a tweet encouraging Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, not to become a witness against him. These tweets and more are listed as attempts at witness tampering in the Mueller Report.
- In court filings on December 7th, 2018 federal prosecutors concluded that Trump participated in federal crimes when he directed Cohen to commit campaign finance violations by paying off two women during his 2016 campaign. The assertion marks the first time that federal prosecutors have deemed Trump an active participant in the conspiracy. Any other citizen not the president would have been already indicted by now.
- On December 12th, 2018, a public disclosure of the non-prosecution agreement between federal prosecutors and AMI — the parent company to the National Enquirer — which admitted that it made its $150,000 payment “in concert with” the Trump presidential campaign, in order to ensure that McDougal did not make public her damaging allegations about Trump before the 2016 presidential election. This means that the federal prosecutors now have corroboration of Cohen’s testimony against Trump from a second reliable source, which along with the trail of documents following the money from Trump through a complex web of companies designed to hide the payments. It also gives Congress a neatly wrapped Christmas present labeled “Article I of the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump.”
- On December 13th, 2018, we learned that Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump’s relationships with women. This places the president as a knowing participant in a criminal scheme to defraud the voters and break campaign finance law — and exposes even more lies that have been told by Trump.
- On December 13th, 2018 we also learned that a federal investigation into Trump’s long-suspected inaugural fundraising violations was underway. The probe is examining whether some of the committee’s top donors gave money in exchange for access, policy concessions or to influence administration positions. There are indications the president’s children are involved — Ivanka was allegedly charging obscene rates at the family hotel — and possibly illegal foreign donations were made using straw donors. Trump’s involvement is unknown at this time, but is highly unlikely he was not at least aware of the violations as they occurred. Stay tuned.
- On December 14th, 2018, we learned that Manafort advised administration officials in the spring and summer of 2017 on how to politically undermine the FBI and Mueller investigation in three main ways. He also gave them advice on how some of the witnesses against both him and the president might be discredited. In short, Manafort and Trump were working together to discredit the investigators as well as potential witnesses all while Trump was repeatedly dangling a pardon in front of Manafort— this is blatant obstruction of justice and more witness tampering by Trump.
- On December 18th, 2018, the New York AG Barbara Underwood announced she was dissolving the Trump Foundation and that an investigation found “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.” At the very least, this investigation has revealed additional campaign finance violations, furthering the fraud that Trump perpetrated on American voters during the campaign.
- On December 18th, 2018, we learned Trump did indeed sign a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, despite Giuliani denying that he did and despite Trump repeatedly telling the public during the 2016 presidential campaign that he had “nothing to do with Russia.” It’s one more lie and it further explains why Trump was and is so subservient to Putin — the Russian dictator has known he was lying about this issue for years.
- On December 21st, 2018, we learned Trump lashed out at his self-appointed acting AG Matt Whitaker over investigations being carried out in New York that have implicated the president, “Individual One”, in crimes. This is completely inappropriate and it’s another example of Trump obstructing justice in that it puts pressure on Whitaker to stop the investigations.
- On January 12th 2019, Trump went on Fox News and encouraged a possible investigation of Michael Cohen’s father-in-law in a blatant attempt at witness intimidation. This is obviously witness tampering and an impeachable offense.
- On January 13th, 2019 it was reported that Trump has concealed from top officials the contents of his five personal one-on-one meetings with Vladimir Putin and in one instance even confiscated an interpreters notes from a meeting. If true, this violates the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and further grows the body of evidence that Trump is under the influence of Russia.
- On January 17th 2019, we learned that Trump and his family knew of Cohen’s efforts to move the Moscow Project along and Trump may have instructed him to lie about such facts when he testified before Congress. If true, this is obviously obstruction of justice and a very serious impeachable offense.
- On January 18th 2019, Trump continued his campaign of witness tampering and intimidation against Cohen, leading to Cohen abandoning his plans to testify before Congress out of fear for his family’s safety. This is very serious and another obvious impeachable offense.
- On January 25th 2019, longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was arrested and indicted by Mueller. We learned from this indictment that “after the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by [WikiLeaks], a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE” about WikiLeaks and its future releases. It is not clear who did that directing, but the fact that it is left unsaid, and that Trump would be in such a position to direct a senior aide, is damning. If true, Trump would be directly implicated in collusion with Russia.
- On February 19, 2019, the New York Times reported that Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker in December 2018 if a US attorney he appointed could oversee an investigation tied to himself after the US attorney in question had already recused himself from the probe. This is another obvious example of obstruction of justice — and it appears Whitaker then lied about the conversation in congressional testimony in order to cover it up.
- During Michael Cohen’s testimony on February 27th, 2019, we learned that Trump did indeed have advance notice about plans by Wikileaks to publish stolen DNC emails — a fact that directly contradicts what he told Mueller in writing in November 2018.
- During Cohen’s testimony, Trump’s former fixer and attorney submitted copies of checks that Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and the COO of the Trump Organization made to him — evidence supporting Cohen’s claim that the president engaged in criminal conduct while in office. Cohen provided a copy of a check that he says was personally signed by Trump in 2017 to reimburse him for paying off Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who had alleged having an affair with Trump. Added Cohen: “The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws.” This is evidence of a federal crime committed by Trump while in office, and yet another impeachable offense.
- According to a March 5, 2019 report, Trump pressured Kelly and McGahn to grant security clearances to Ivanka and Jared so that it wouldn’t look like the president was inappropriately influencing the process. Both McGahn and Kelly refused, and Trump ultimately granted the security clearances himself. The reports contradict statements made by both Trump and Ivanka, who have denied there was any inappropriate influence in granting the security clearances. Clearly, this is an abuse of power and it is extremely reckless with our national security.
- On March 4th, 2019 we learned that Trump ordered former White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn to pressure the Department of Justice to block the AT&T Time Warner merger. Trump opposed the merger because Time Warner owns CNN, a news network Trump regularly derides and refers to as “fake news.” This is another obvious abuse of power and disgraceful attack on the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.
- On March 6th, 2019, we learned that Trump’s lawyers assisted Michael Cohen in delivering false testimony to Congress. This is yet another obvious example of obstruction of justice.
- On March 13th, 2019 we learned from Rep. Jerry Nadler that Whitaker in closed door testimony “did not deny” that Trump reached out to him to discuss a case against Cohen. This contradicts Whitaker’s February public congressional testimony and, if true, is yet another example of the president obstructing justice.
- On March 13th, 2019 we also learned that Michael Cohen has emails indicating Trump dangled a pardon to him. Even Attorney General Barr admitted in his confirmation hearings this could be obstruction of justice.
- We learned April 12th from multiple media outlets that Trump earlier this month told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan he’d pardon him if he broke the law to deny migrants the ability to petition for asylum. If true, this would be yet another obvious impeachable offense.
- On April 18th, 2019, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released to the public. These are the 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump, as relayed in the index of Mueller’s report. These are damning examples of impeachable offenses committed by the president.
- On April 24th, 2019, the New York Times took a further look at a number of instances in the Mueller Report in which Trump attempted to get Sessions to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton — a clear abuse of power reminiscent of Nixon’s various attempts to use the levers of government to punish political rivals. These are obvious impeachable offenses.
- On May 10th, 2019, we learned that Trump sought to have McGahn issue a public statement that he did not believe the president had engaged in criminal conduct when he sought to exert control over the Russia investigation — a request McGahn declined, according to people familiar with the episode. This is yet another example of Trump tampering with potential witnesses before Congress.
- On May 19, 2019, we learned that Trump and Kushner had their financial transactions flagged as possible money laundering crimes. Trump is now suing Deutsche Bank to block it from complying with congressional investigators. The notion that the president is entitled to engage in red-flagged dealings with money launderers, and conceal it from Congress and the public, is a wild transgression of transparency norms. It’s yet another example of obstruction, too.
- On May 20, 2019, the Washington Post reported that Cohen told a closed House panel that Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, encouraged him to lie to Congress in 2017. Cohen’s lie concerned his handling of a deal to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow. Cohen has testified that Trump encouraged him to lie by repeating, in his characteristic mobster code — “There’s no Russia” — a cover story both men knew to be false. (Trump of course signed the letter of intent for the Moscow Project.) The new report shows that Sekulow was involved in crafting his false testimony, and that, far from the president’s lawyer freelance ordering perjury, Cohen understood Trump to be working through Sekulow. This is another example of witness tampering.
- On May 20, 2019, McGahn refused — at Trump’s urging — to appear at a House hearing to testify to yet another serious presidential crime. According to the Mueller report, Trump ordered McGahn to tell Rosenstein to fire Mueller, an order McGahn refused. Trump later told McGahn to falsely deny Trump had ever told him this. There is no basis for refusing to let McGahn testify. It’s not executive privilege, a right McGahn already waived by discussing it with Mueller. What’s more, Trump is backstopping his demand with financial blackmail. The AP reports that “Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with the firm” currently employing McGahn, which relies on Republican connections for its business. So Trump, in short, is using financial blackmail in support of a fallacious legal argument in order to cover up a clear instance of obstruction of justice — a seamless garment of corruption.
- On May 23, 2019, after Trump had spent days excoriating the purportedly “treasonous” investigators by name, he announced he had granted Barr the “full and complete authority” to declassify documents relating to the Russia probe. The White House also stated that Trump had directed intelligence agencies to “quickly and fully” cooperate with the investigation into the investigation. This push to use the levers of government to punish his political enemies is exactly what Nixon was accused of during his impeachment inquiry. The only difference is Trump does it for everyone to see.
- On June 3rd, 2019, Trump took to Twitter to suggest that people boycott AT&T in order to get them to punish CNN. Here he was encouraging economic retaliation against a U.S. telecom for the politics of one of its subsidiaries. It’s another example, like Nixon, of using the levers of government to punish political enemies. It’s another obvious abuse of power and disgraceful attack on the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.
- In an interview aired June 12th, 2019, Trump said he would accept foreign help in order to win the 2020 elections. Receiving foreign campaign contributions is illegal, to say nothing of the fact that it is immoral, un-patriotic and borderline treasonous. It also would expose the president to blackmail opportunities. This is clearly a failure to uphold his oath to support and defend our democracy.
- Speaking to reporters at the G7 Summit in France on August 25, 2019, Trump performed an ad-libbed infomercial for the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort, saying that it’s the odds-on favorite to host next year’s meeting — a direct violation of the #EmolumentsClause of the Constitution because in that scenario foreign governments would be directly giving money to the president. The White House official Twitter feed also promoted the idea.
- On August 27, 2019, the Washington Post reported Trump has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get his wall built. This is an impeachable offense and directly reminiscent of Article II, section 5 of Nixon’s impeachment: “In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch…in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
- In late August 2019, we learned that Trump lied about phone calls with Chinese leaders in order to artificially boost the stock market. The president obviously spread false information about his interactions with China for the express purpose of affecting the markets, which is exactly how the SEC defines market manipulation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- On September 7th, 2019, we learned that the House Oversight Committee is investigating military spending at an airport near a Trump property in Ayer, Scotland, as well as visits to that property by service members, in the latest of a growing number of inquiries into government expenditures that seem to financially benefit Trump and his businesses. If it appears Trump encouraged or steered military taxpayer dollars to his resort, this is yet another example of the corruption that can be the focus of articles of impeachment.
- On Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was a disaster for Trump. Here’s why:
- 1) He confirmed Trump obstructed justice as detailed in Mueller Report: Lewandowski admitted under oath that Trump ordered him to try to get Sessions to undermine an active investigation that ultimately led to guilty pleas and convictions against his top aides. This was identified as obstruction of justice in the Mueller report. If anyone besides a sitting president engaged in this behavior, they’d go to jail.
- 2) Lewandowski likely added obstruction of Congress to Trump’s impeachment list: Lewandowski admitted that the White House was directing him not to answer questions despite a congressional subpoena. They cited executive privilege — but there is no such thing as executive privilege for someone like Lewandowski who is not and has never been an employee of the Executive branch. This is evidence of obstruction of Congress, which was one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. Rather than being clever, Lewandowski likely added another impeachment charge against Trump.
- 3) Lewandowski raised questions about new pardons, which is an impeachable offense: Lewandowski repeatedly refused to answer whether Trump offered him a pardon to persuade him to not cooperate with the federal investigation. That’s an illegal abuse of power and an impeachable offense.
- Thanks to a whistleblower reporting on a July 2019 phone call, we now know that Trump was dangling military aid to Ukraine in exchange for them investigating Joe Biden’s family. This is bribery and extortion and a gross abuse of power. On September 26th, 2019, Congress received the #Ukrainegate whistleblower complaint. Here’s the bottom line of what they say: (1) Trump used the power of his office to solicit the help of a foreign government in the upcoming 2020 election, that (2) His team then actively worked to cover up the evidence that would expose Trump’s wrongdoing, and (3) it shows a consciousness of guilt. The Trump appointed inspector general of the intelligence community did his own investigation and found the accusations against Trump to be credible and “of urgent concern”. In other words: Trump betrayed his oath of office and his team covered it up because they knew it was wrong. This alone is impeachable conduct.
- On October 3rd, 2019, Trump again admitted to pressuring a foreign country, Ukraine, to investigate a political opponent and even went further to insist that China should do the same. It’s yet another abuse of power — and it is an impeachable offense — to use the power of the presidency to ask foreign nations to meddle in our domestic politics.
- On October 17, 2019, Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went before the assembled media and repeatedly and proudly admitted that Trump’s conversations with the Ukrainian president regarding investigating Joe Biden in exchange for military aid amounted to a quid quo pro. This is further confirmation of impeachable offenses committed by the president.
- On October 22nd, 2019, in devastating testimony for the president, the U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, privately testified that Trump directly tied security aid to his demand for investigations, a lawmaker said. This is yet another confirmation that Trump abused his power and made a quid pro quo using congressional approved taxpayer-funded military dollars in order to extort an ally to investigate his political rival.
- In a sworn deposition October 29, 2019, House investigators heard from Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a decorated Iraq War Veteran who was the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. Vindman testified that Trump’s demand for political dirt from Ukraine was so damaging to US National Security that he had a “duty” to relay his objections up the chain of command. This is yet another corroboration of the original whistleblower’s complaint and further evidence of a quid pro quo and extortion committed by the president.
- On November 3, 2019, Trump renewed his attacks on the original Ukraine whistleblower, threatening to reveal his name and release other damaging information about him and Lt. Col. Vindman. This is an obvious attempt to intimidate these witnesses — witness tampering — and yet another impeachable offense.
- On November 5th, 2019, Trump’s own politically-appointed Ambassador and mega donor, Gordon D. Sondland, reversed his earlier testimony and confirmed his role in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that conditioned the release of security assistance from the United States on the country’s willingness to say it was investigating Biden and other Democrats. It’s perhaps the most devastating corroboration of the whistleblower’s complaint and a damning confirmation yet again of a quid pro quo.
- On November 12, 2019, Taylor again testified, this time in public, but revealed new information about Trump’s direct involvement in the push to have a foreign government investigate his political rival, including a phone call between Sondland and the president on July 26, 2019 where Trump asked about the investigations. This again puts Trump at the center of the bribery and extortion scheme.
- On November 12, 2019, we learned from Rick Gates’ testimony at the Roger Stone trial that Trump did indeed talk to Stone about the Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign, which contradicts Trump’s written response to Mueller, in which he said, “I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with” Stone. This is perjury and is another impeachable offense.
- On November 15th, 2019, Trump publicly attacked a witness — Marie Yovanovitch, the Ambassador he forced out because she would not play ball with his criminal scheme — in a Congressional impeachment hearing while she is testifying. It was yet another brazen, in plain sight attempt at witness tampering in order to create a chilling effect on her and the testimony of others — and it was yet another impeachable offense.
- -Sondland’s public testimony on November 20th was devastating for the president in numerous ways:
- He said that following a July 26, 2019 meeting between the Ambassador to the EU and Ukrainians officials, Trump asked the ambassador, “So [Zelenskyy is] going to do the investigation?”, to which the ambassador replied, “He’s going to do it.”
- Sondland confirmed that Trump demanded that President Zelenskyy make a public announcement that he was opening an investigation into Biden and the 2016 election as a pre-requisite before he would agree to a White House meeting.
- Sondland testified that Giuliani — working at Trump’s behest — told both American officials and Ukrainian officials that the president would require, as a quid pro quo, that Ukraine announce the desired investigations before any White House meeting would occur.
Tell your members of Congress now to begin the process of impeaching Donald Trump.