As the nation spirals closer and closer to a Constitutional crisis as President Trump gets ready to nominate a Director of the FBI who will have as one of his or her charges, the investigation of the campaign and individual who nominated that person, the question must be asked......What constitutes "high crimes and misdemeanors" against a sitting President? That question further becomes complicated if those high crimes and misdemeanors occurred, at least partially, during the run up to the election. Is there a provision in Constitutional law that can negate an election if that election is won under false pretenses?
This article is not an indictment of President Trump. It does raise some serious issues as the weight of potential evidence, both uncovered and being investigated as to the impeachment, legitimacy, and ultimate resolution of problems that this country has never faced before in the 241 year history of this nation.
It would appear to this observer that there are a number of possible outcomes to the current dilemma:
- The President and his campaign staff are cleared of all illegal activities, both prior to their election and during their administration. If this happens, the administration under this President moves forward with absolute confidence and authority. All talk of impeachment ends and the political argument moves to political rather than personal agendas. Any Constitutional crisis is averted.
- The President is cleared of any improper behavior but his campaign is proven to have acted illegally during the pre-election time. No illegal activity is discovered once the President took office. In this scenario, the Trump Presidency remains safe, but the individuals who acted illegally would be prosecuted.
- The same scenario would take place if individuals in the Trump administration acted illegally without the President's knowledge. While the Presidency would remain safe, the individuals who acted illegally would be prosecuted, but there would be some doubt raised over the honesty and the openness of the administration to scandal.
- The fourth scenario becomes much more complex. If the President is found to have committed illegal actions that affected the results of the election, the question comes into play about the legitimacy of the entire administration. Can we have an administration that moved into the White House illegally be allowed to remain in that position while impeachment and criminal action takes place? Are any of the moves that the administration made during their time in office legal or are they reversible? What happens to appointments and executive orders? None of these appear to be part of our current Constitutional Law and would likely be determined by the Supreme Court. The question would be whether the Supreme Court Justice nominated by the administration would be legally able to sit on this case? Would major appointments revert to pre-election conditions? This is truly a complex issue. It throws not only President Trump's legitimacy but the legitimacy of the entire administration, including Vice-President Pence in question.
Let it be clear, there is no substantial proof of Presidential guilt to date. There are, however, mounting questions about what has actually happened during the past year and a half. The only way we are going to find out what really has happened is to have a truly independent prosecutor or counsel fully investigating all of these allegations. The Attorney General's office is tainted. For this country to come together, the investigation has to be truly independent and non-partisan.
Let our government do the right thing. Let's get to the bottom of this quagmire and get back to governing this greatest nation on earth.