A Republican former judge in Cincinnati has published an op-ed calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Mark P. Painter, formerly of the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals, writes,
“I am a lifelong Republican. I voted for every Republican presidential candidate from 1968 to 2004. But I have watched what once was a sane, center-right party go off the rails, first to the extreme right, then to wherever Trump is, which is in another universe.”
Painter calls out Trump for his unethical and borderline illegal behavior since taking office. He strongly condemns the conflicts of interest that Trump has deliberately maintained for himself so that he and his family can profit from his presidency:
“A president of the United States, on the official POTUS Twitter feed, assails a department store for dropping his daughter’s merchandise. On the same day, the Pentagon is looking to rent space in the Trump Tower. Trump’s son travels to Uganda to make a Trump business deal. And, of course, foreign diplomats will stay at the Trump Hotel. The cash comes marching in.
The phony legalisms Trump has said he used to “separate” himself from his businesses – though he still owns them and his sons are running them – will be cited to make this all acceptable. Horsefeathers. No ethical expert could say with a straight face that this is not a classic conflict of interest.
In any time except our post-factual era, no office holder, much less the president, could get away with any one of the dozens of dazzlingly illegal things Trump has already done. They would forfeit office immediately.”
It gets worse. Trump’s executive branch is a disorganized mess. We are three weeks into his presidency and Trump still has not filled all of his Cabinet positions, let alone a multitude of important State Department positions. He has put white supremacist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council despite Bannon having no relevant experience or qualifications. And Trump has become embroiled in a scandal involving Russian officials, his campaign staff, and his national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
Painter lists a few of the preposterous things that are going on in Trump’s government:
“The leader of the band of Mad Hatters occupying the White House has already insulted allied world leaders, issued illegal and badly written orders, impugned a “so-called” judge appointed by his own party, and appointed the least-qualified cabinet ever. The first secretary of state was Thomas Jefferson. Trump appointed a big-oil executive [Rex Tillerson] with close ties to Russia. The first treasury secretary was Alexander Hamilton. Trump appointed a former Goldman Sachs exec [Steve Mnuchin] who got rich foreclosing on homeowners. The national security advisor lasted 24 days.”
Most importantly, Painter wants Americans to actually do something about all of these troubling things going on in the White House. Only Congress can initiate the impeachment process so, Painter writes, we need to make our representatives do the right thing. He lambasts his representative, Republican Steve Chabot, for wasting time defending Trump from the media when it is time to take action against the dangerously incompetent president.
We have entered a dark period where policy is created “through illiterate tweets” and the quintessential American values of “free speech, the rule of law, separation of powers” are under threat.
Our representatives need to act swiftly and impeach Trump. Former judge Painter is offering to help draft the papers.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.