Donald Trump could be impeached on four grounds, former Labor Secretary says (The Independent link): There are now four grounds to impeach Donald Trump and a fifth is "on its way", according to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Posting on Twitter, Mr Reich outlined the four reasons he thinks Mr. Trump could be impeached.
He said Mr. Trump is "'unfaithfully' executing his duties" by accusing former President Barack Obama of "undertaking an illegal (and impeachable) act."
Last weekend, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Obama of wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower, though he provided no evidence for his claim.
A spokesman for Mr. Obama denied he ever ordered the wiretapping of any US citizen.
Mr. Reich also said although part of the constitution forbids government officials from taking things of value from foreign governments, "Trump is making big money off his Trump International Hotel by steering foreign diplomatic delegations to it, and will make a bundle off China's recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand — decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president."
China recently granted preliminary approval for dozens of Trump-branded businesses, including new hotels, spas, massage parlors and personal security services.
The former Labor Secretary also said Mr. Trump's ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries violates the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, which bans any law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
He also said Mr. Trump "labelling the press the 'enemy of the people' and choosing whom he invites to news conferences based on whether they've given him favorable coverage" could be another reason for impeachment, as he said it violates the 1st Amendment on the freedom of the press.
Finally, he wrote: "Article III Section 3 of the Constitution defines 'treason against the United States' as 'adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.' Evidence is mounting that Trump colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election."
Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied his team had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 election, but was revealed to have met with Russia's US ambassador at the height of his campaign.
"The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there is the political will," Mr. Reich concluded.
"As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House (where a bill of Impeachment originates), it's unlikely.
"Another reason why it's critically important to flip the House in 2018."
In nearly 1,500 counties nationwide, such a person stands to lose more than $6,000 a year in federal insurance subsidies. Ninety percent of those counties backed Trump, the analysis shows. And 68 of the 70 counties where these consumers would suffer the largest losses supported Trump in November.
Most affected by the Republican health plan would be parts of Alaska, Arizona, Nebraska, Tennessee and Oklahoma, where Obamacare insurance subsidies have been crucial in making high-priced insurance affordable. All five states went for Trump. Also hit hard would be parts of key swing states that backed Trump, including Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan.
Older, low-income residents of some parts of California, including rural counties in the northern part of the state, could see substantial losses as well, the data show.
Meanwhile, higher-income, younger Americans — many of whom live in urban areas won by Democrat Hillary Clinton — stand to get more assistance in the Republican legislation.
Faring best would be the nation’s wealthiest residents, who would see a substantial tax cut with the elimination under the House GOP bill of two levies on high-income taxpayers. These taxes — on individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 — were included in Obamacare to help offset the cost of assisting lower-income Americans.
The disproportionate impact of the House Republican plan threatens to undercut one of Trump’s core promises that he would replace Obamacare with a plan that would take care of all Americans.
It could also become a serious political liability for Republican lawmakers, some of whom can ill afford to alienate the party’s electoral base at a time when Trump remains deeply unpopular among Democrats and independents.
“Republicans may seem very happy to slap their constituents in the face while picking their pockets,” said Mark Mellman, a veteran Democratic political consultant who has worked extensively in red states. “But I think they will rue the day they did this.”