Being a political science major, I spend a lot of time studying Donald Trump and his administration. The first presidential election I could vote in was 2016, and I followed its development from day one of the primaries. For almost two years I’ve studied the Trump presidency closely, and have found that Donald Trump is the most corrupt president America has ever seen. Let’s look at the facts, not the tweets.
In July of 2018, a U.S. district court judge allowed a case to proceed that said that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which forbids government officials from receiving gifts, titles, offices or compensation for services from foreign governments. Trump has yet to fully give up ownership of all of his properties. Government officials from multiple countries have stayed at his hotels and properties while Trump holds office. These foreign governments pay for their officials to visit, lining Trump’s pockets with foreign cash. The president’s lawyers argue that the Emoluments Clause does not apply here, but it’s still up for debate as to what an emolument exactly is. Trump’s business donated $151,470 in profits from doing business with foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury in 2017.
This is the first time in U.S. history that the meaning of the Emoluments Clause must be properly defined.
The criminality of Trump’s presidency became unquestionable in August 2018. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, were both found guilty of felony offences. Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of bank fraud and tax evasion. Michael Cohen revealed that the president directed him to break campaign finance law by paying hush money to two women who had sexual relations with Trump. This puts Trump in the legal position of being an unindicted co-conspirator.
The result of Manafort and Cohen’s admissions of guilt have had a ripple effect through the American political landscape. Impeachment is now a very likely possibility if the Democrats take back the House and Senate in November. Andrew Hall, who was counsel to one of Richard Nixon’s top advisors that was sent to prison for the Watergate cover up, stated in Sept. 8, 2018 that “The November elections have an enormous impact on how this plays out, if the Democrats take the Senate, or enough Republicans switch over, there will be a successful impeachment.” We could be seeing history repeat itself.
Conservatives wanted a businessman president and that’s exactly what America got. The only problem is that government isn’t a business; government provides structure to our politics, but it also provides a set of moral values. Trump’s values are clear: get power by any means necessary, including breaking the law when necessary. Even before Trump took office, he was involved in over 3,500 lawsuits. It is unprecedented in U.S. history to have a president with this much legal baggage.
Furthermore, there was a The New York Times op-ed from an anonymous author among “The Resistance” inside the Trump White House published last week. The author reveals that Trump is a president that is anti-democratic and anti-trade. To add insult to injury, Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear” is set to release to the public on Sept. 11, but news organizations already have their hands on it. The book is said to paint a picture of the Trump presidency, that of a paranoid president, his back against the wall, poisoned by power and stuck in his own web of lies.
How much longer can America tolerate the president so blatantly bending the law for his benefit? How many more cases must be brought forward? How many more books need to be released? How much more evidence do we need? We must accept that Donald Trump is using the office of the presidency for his own self interest, and not for the interests of the American people. This is an impeachable offense, and if we are to save what’s left of our anemic democracy, we must uphold the rule of law, even if it means impeaching the president.