Donald Trump’s Impeachable Offenses: Twitter Fingers Edition

Because we are living in the bizarre hell that is 2017, discussing whether or not the tweets from the President of the United States are impeachable is a real topic of conversation. So, for my liberal snowflake comrades, I have done the dirty work of combing through Trump’s Twitter and pulling out some of his impeachable tweets. I thought this was going to be a lot easier to do, but it turns out it’s exhaustingly time consuming. I certainly thought I’d get through more than two Twitter rants — but I just don’t have enough Xanax. So here is part one of a series of impeachable actions Trump has done, starting with just a handful of his tweets. You’re welcome, and I accept boxes of wine should you wish to express your gratitude.

What is an impeachable offense?

The Constitution says that the President can be impeached for “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But what does that really mean in the context of tweeting? Put very simply, “high crimes and misdemeanors” refers to any action taken by a public official that abuses their power in some capacity. This could include something like, I don’t know, using your name to make money while you’re in office (don’t worry, this is just part one. We’ll cover it all!). This also means that, while “normal” crimes could be impeachable offenses, actions that an average person would be able to do without a problem could be grounds for impeachment. When it was ordinary businessman Donald Trump tweeting crazy thoughts, that’s fine. No one cares. When it is POTUS Donald Trump tweeting crazy thoughts, it’s a problem because as President his tweets have more value. And yes, our founding fathers are spinning in their graves over this.

With that explained, let’s dive straight into hell.

Obamagate

The tweets (there are so many):

WTF was going on:

Thanks to an article published on the ever credible website Breitbart, Trump decided that Obama had his “wires tapped.”

The problem:

Obamagate is easily the most egregious and most talked about example of Trump’s impeachable Twitter crimes. I believe this is the most cut and dry of the Twitter offenses. First, Trump is accusing Obama of illegally wiretapping him while Obama was still in office — something that, if true, would have been impeachable behavior. Second, this isn’t your crazy uncle rampaging on Twitter (because, come on, if Trump is your uncle, there is no way you’re reading this). As Noah Feldman pointed out on Slate’s Trumpcast: Trump has the power to punish people, and threatening to prosecute people without evidence “is certainly an abuse of power.” Keeping this in mind, you can understand how it’s easy to view the Obamagate tweets as threats to the former president (remember that, because it’s going to be a pretty critical point — both for the rest of the article, and presumably for the remainder of Trump’s presidency).

There’s something very unsettling about the current President publicly accusing a prior president of an action that is both illegal and impeachable. Do you know what kind of rulers jail their political opponents? The kind of rulers that don’t really care for democracy.

When was the last time you heard Donald Trump say “lock her up”? A direct call to imprison his opponent while he’s the sitting President would be horrifying. I think that someone in the White House must understand this, and that’s why the issue has been dropped. But just because Trump isn’t directly saying “lock him up,” the fact that he is the POTUS means he could indeed lock him up. I do not expect anyone currently working around Trump to understand nuance, nor do I expect Trump to get it if it’s explained to him.

But wait! Haven’t we learned that there was indeed a FISA warrant in Trump Tower? Isn’t Trump right? Yes and no, in that order. Trump’s tweet accuses Obama himself of wire tapping him — and that would be highly illegal. While the FBI did indeed issue a FISA warrant for Trump adviser Carter Page, only a petulant child who hasn’t even passed eight grade civics would angrily equate this to “Obama wire tapped Trump.” It’s incredibly difficult to obtain a FISA, and it is not taken lightly — meaning that a FISA wouldn’t be signed off on just so Obama could spy on Donald Trump. On the plus side for the rest of us, Trump’s tweet declassified the FISA warrant, and allowed reporters to send FOIA requests on the investigation into the Trump campaign. Good move!

So-Called Judges

The tweets:

WTF was going on:

These tweets were in response to a judge putting a hold on Trump’s Muslim ban EO.

The problem:

Just like Obamagate, this is an example of Trump using his position to threaten another public official. This is a direct threat to a member of the judiciary system in America — and to judicial process. Personally, I find this to be worse than Obamagate. This is POTUS bullying and trying to intimidate a federal judge for disagreeing with him; this is a direct threat to democracy.

Trump wasn’t the only one threatening the “so-called judge” — security had to be beefed up for some of the judges who were involved in the EO disasters. Remember when Trump incited violence at his campaign rallies? Just this month, a judge determined that the protesters who were attacked can proceed with a lawsuit against Trump and his campaign. To impeach someone for actions taken before they became POTUS would be unheard of — but this parallels the not so veiled threats toward judges who don’t allow Trump to do whatever he wants. We should all be closely following what happens in this lawsuit, because it seems like Trump will continue to insult whoever he wants, with no regard for the impact of his power as POTUS to both legally and socially harm someone else.

Next week: More tweets? Russia? Who knows what I’ll choose!

 

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Waterfront Dinner

I started this blog intending to write about things in politics and the news that really irritate me, but I’ve been held back bythe question of what topic to start with. Thankfully, I wasted $95 this weekend eating at Sequoia in DC, and I want to use every outlet possible to let people know how terrible this place was (Yelp and Google just aren’t enough). Sure, it isn’t exactly about politics, but the restaurant is in DC so it’s close enough.

I went here over the weekend with two of my friends to celebrate the sun finally showing its face in DC, and I now wish I had just had some PB&Js in my front yard or something. Everything that could go wrong and suck here absolutely did. When we got to the hostess stand, we had the same interaction with two different people (one of whom I believe was a manager based on his clothing).

Employee: How many?
Us: 3
Employee: [walks away as though we are invisible]

Oh, okay. So when we finally got to our table, instead of just meandering off after pointing us in the general direction, the guy who sat us goes, “is this table fine, YES OR NO?!” What? Is this the exit row in an airplane? You need a verbal yes or no about the table? Whatever. After we agreed YES to sit at the table (maybe this guy was actually warning us to get out and save ourselves?), a single glass of water with one straw was placed in the center of the table. Naturally, everyone that worked for the establishment promptly fled the vicinity, leaving us wondering what to do with this single water cup. Maybe cut the straw in thirds? When the waiter came to our table and took our drink orders, I even told him, “someone awkwardly set this single cup down here, so I’m not sure what’s up with that, but is it trash?” “Oh, they’ll be ‘right back’ with more.” Right back? Hope you like the water view, dear reader, as this place runs on Key West time…but with none of the natural beauty of the ocean or warmth of Florida (indeed, we ended up spending so long there the sun went down and it was freezing when we left).

Also, good thing the drink menu is just a list of some beers and like 3 speciality cocktails that aren’t impressive. They only have TWENTY for the entire restaurant, and the waiter rudely took it from my friend without an apology or saying he’d be back with it. Hey, Sequoia, you’re a WATERFRONT RESTAURANT. Would it freaking kill you to put some beachy drinks on your menu? I could buy some crab legs at Safeway and blend my own key lime vodka with coconut cream and ice and drink it by a kiddie pool and it’d be a more worthwhile and creative waterfront experience than crushed blueberries and menu snatching.

We ordered our appetizers and entrees at the same time — and thank God for apps! It took over an HOUR from GETTING our appetizers to get our entrees. Seriously? Props for using Maryland crabs, Sequoia, but did you send someone up the Chesapeake to pull a crab pot to make our cakes super fresh? When we got the food, my one friend asked for a box because she figured it’d be her only shot for an hour or so (jokes on her, since it took over an hour to pay the check after we asked for it), and our waiter told her, “I’m really busy right now, I’ll get it later.” WHAT?! The CORRECT answer is, “Of course! Give me just a minute and I’ll be right back with it.” But the boxes ended up being in a cabinet about 2 feet from our table, making his frazzled reaction even more bizarre. I guess he was really pressed for time since he probably had to run away and hide from another table so they couldn’t ask where their food was (answer: if at all like my lukewarm crabcakes, sitting under a heat lamp).

Then the check. Oh, the check. We planned to split the bill between two cards, with the third party paying cash to one of the cards. I was dividing up my portion when I realized there was an extra drink on the bill. We finally flagged down the waiter and pointed it out.

Waiter: Oh, yeah. Just pay everything and I won’t charge $10.
Me: Right, but we’re splitting the bill so we need an accurate count of the whole thing.
Waiter: It’s no big deal, just make it $10 short.
Me: You need to give us an accurate copy of the bill before I’ll pay.
Waiter: Fine.

Um, what? We’re dividing things up, and there was $19 worth of taxes on the bill that also needed split, and everything that happens here is terrible, so why would I trust this? Good thing I didn’t, based on what followed. We get the accurate check, I divide everything up and write LastNameA: $XXX LastNameB: $XXX. He did separate charges, all right…but swiped my friends card for both of the charges. Good thing I noticed my receipt said her name on it, or we wouldn’t have known until she or I checked our credit card statements.

AND SIR, YOU WANTED ME TO TRUST YOU TO RUN MY CARD ON AN INACCURATE BILL?! YOU COULDN’T PROPERLY CHARGE THE CORRECT BILL.

Just walk around the area and buy a hot dog from a vendor or something.

Image

The view is lovely.