Divest, Donald!

It’s now clear that Donald Trump intends to enter the White House…

…without resolving the many conflicts of interest between his business holdings and his new job as defender of the Constitution. In his charade Wednesday morning he told the nation he could easily run his company and the country at the same time if he wanted to, and that he’d be really good at it. Then he brought out his lawyer to announce that it would be a satisfactory solution for him to turn over control of the company to two of his sons, who would run it without any input from Trump himself. There are no ethics experts who agree with him on this. Furthermore, his lawyer said, it would be really hard for Trump to divest or to set up a legitimate blind trust. To that I say, Mr. Trump, if you didn’t want to comply with the United States Constitution, you should not have sought the presidency. I mean, some things are hard.

What this means is that from the moment he takes the oath of office he will be in violation of the constitution. If this is not a “high crime and misdemeanor,” nothing is. I’ve heard that I should “wait and see” what he does as president, before I criticize him. I don’t think this is a “wait and see” situation: He has already announced his intention to break the law: No need to wait.

The standard resolution of a situation like this is impeachment. But guess what? Articles of impeachment must begin in the House of Representatives, and the House majority is Republican. Do you think they will allow their boy to be impeached? Not until they get him to sign a bunch of their bills, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, tax cuts for the rich, removal of many corporate regulations, defunding of Planned Parenthood, and more. You say someone could file a lawsuit to have him removed? Someone probably will, but it will be thrown out of court, because no one can claim to have sustained “direct injury or harm” as a result Trump’s crime — no one has “standing” to sue. Hey, it’s a legal thing. We don’t have to understand it.

There is no likely avenue to correct this.

Maybe the new president will commit more crimes while in office. Maybe he will be so blatant in his arrogance and lawlessness that even the Republican held House will feel they must act. Certainly if your district is represented by a Republican you should write and encourage her to do the right thing. But while you’re holding your breath for that to happen, don’t forget there’s a congressional election in two years, and a 3-million strong majority did vote against Donald Trump. If everyone who thinks we’ve made a terrible mistake gets out and votes in 2018, we can begin to rescue our government from this unqualified man and start on the road to recovering some of our national integrity.

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