Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced on September 24, 2019, that “the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
Here are possible charges based on the allegations and historical impeachment language:
The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his Constitutional Oath that “I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” acting himself and through agents, has harmed the United States people, society and system of government.
1. Betrayal of Oath of Office and Rule of Law
In violation of federal campaign laws, President Trump solicited a foreign country to engage in activity of value to him: aiding his re-election by pursuing his opponent. Then, he impeded discovery of his wrongdoing.
He covers-up wrongdoings in finance, tax, banking, government, business, charity and other campaign matters including complex, illegal schemes to hide payoffs to silence his mistresses in aiding his election.
He engages in campaign, tax and other misconduct, including misuse of a domestic charitable foundation to benefit his interests.
His token donation of his presidential salary in no way cures his unconstitutional acceptance of massive gifts, intellectual property and profit-taking from foreign countries and persons.
He has negligently or corruptly engaged in bad hiring practices and failures to faithfully execute his office. He hired a national security adviser beholden to a foreign power. He gutted State and other key departments. He improperly supervises and retains badly performing agents, including Hatch Act law-breakers who misuse their offices to play politics.
His misconduct — including abuse of communications platforms — worsens religious, racial and other forms of hatred, aggravating divisions and even spurring violence. His victims include citizens, asylum-seekers, political enemies and the free press.
2. Betrayal of National Security
He endangers national and allies’ security, favoring countries such as Russia by leaking classified information, delaying aid to Ukraine, thwarting whistleblowing, defending Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine, and opposing Russian sanctions.
He obstructs meeting readouts and record preservation, preventing discovery of misconduct with foreign governments.
He places financial self-interests and stated admiration, trust and “love” of murderous despots above U.S. and allies’ interests, refusing to condemn atrocities and wrongly declaring that proven enemies pose no threat.
He, and his family, friends and agents, accept influential and valuable gifts, property rights and other benefits, denying the public’s right to honest services of the office.
3. Betrayal of the Integrity of our Elections and Democratic Processes
In an invitation to massive election interference, he refuses to harden our defenses to foreign attacks and denies clear proof of Russian 2016 election interference attempts to favor him and harm his opponents.
He increases the risks and scope of information warfare and active measures against us.
He violates separation of powers among our three government branches, interfering with witnesses in all branches and with valid, congressional hearings and subpoenas, causing evidence withholding, including the whistleblower’s “urgent,” “credible” complaint.
He impedes administration of justice. He abuses his pardon power, influencing witnesses. The Mueller report details some but far from all of his misconduct, including jury tampering, witness enticements, intimidation and attempts to impair the Special Counsel’s investigation, including demands that witnesses lie to federal authorities.
The president’s misconduct causes escalating, enduring harms. Whether acting unintentionally, incompetently or treacherously, he brings his office, government and country into disrepute, undermining democracy, national security and confidence in our fairness and integrity.
He subverts the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people, society, interests, government and constitutional system of the United States.
By such conduct and harms described, the president warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.
Radnofsky is the author of "A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment.”