President Donald Trump takes his seat after speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, during the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's National Days of Remembrance ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Guest opinion: Can Trump be impeached?

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Democrat loyalists have not liked Donald Trump since he announced on June 16, 2015, that he would run for president. Since Trump’s inauguration, Dems have called for Trump’s impeachment to the point that I became deaf to their declaration. But, when I learned three prominent Republicans recently said they are witnessing a massive corruption of Trump’s presidency that is far worse than Watergate, that got my attention.

President Richard Nixon White House counsel John Dean (Republican), the master manipulator of the Watergate cover-up and key witness against his boss, said, “I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.”

Richard Painter (Republican), a University of Minnesota law professor who served as an ethics adviser for President George W. Bush said of Trump, “if administration officials can’t deliver some satisfying answers soon [to Trump-Russia scandals], this is definitely grounds for impeachment.”

Eliot Cohen (Republican), U.S. Department of State counselor to George W. Bush, noted that if Trump’s highly classified and sensitive ISIS intelligence information sharing with untrustworthy Russia “was deliberate, it would be treason,” an impeachable offense.

Three separate and distinct allegations about Trump by three White House experienced Republicans piqued my curiosity. On further investigation, I found seven prominent and revered constitutional law professors and a former judge are leading a campaign to impeach President Trump: Free Speech for People is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. As of May 18, 1,093,651 Americans had signed their names to the impeachment campaign (www.ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org).

The eight-member Free Speech for People legal advisory board contends “from the moment he assumed the office, President Donald Trump has been in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. The president is not above the law. We will not allow President Trump to profit from the presidency at the expense of our democracy. Congress’s impeachment investigation should include the president’s violation of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses and whether the president has, in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, prevented, obstructed, or impeded the administration of justice.”

As proof, Trump’s 144 business holdings in 25 countries is said to present unprecedented conflicts of interest, internationally and domestically. With Trump having his relatives as senior White House advisers, in which insider trading information could occur, this would be a violation of the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act of 2012.

Another possible legal issue facing Trump was his May 9 firing of FBI Director James Comey. Many constitutional lawyers insist Trump’s actions in firing Comey, who was gathering pre-election Trump-Russia interactions, is an explicit obstruction of justice by interfering with the investigation.

Should an investigation find that Trump asked Comey on Feb. 14 to make the Michael Flynn-Russia collusion investigation go away, that’s another corrupt obstruction-of-justice incident. Flynn and Trump campaign advisers were in contact with Russian officials 18 times prior to the 2016 presidential election.

Two questions remain. First, how many alleged violations of the Constitution do we need to make an impeachment-process decision? Second, how do we handle these six alleged impeachable offenses about our 45th president (i.e., Foreign Emoluments Clause, Domestic Emoluments Clause, STOCK Act of 2012, obstruction of justice case No. 1, obstruction of justice case No. 2 and treason)?

It’s time for people to make their opinion on this matter known. Remember, Trump is our president who must abide by our Constitution. It is high time we put our country’s best interests before party politics.

— Steve Corbin, professor emeritus of marketing, University of Northern Iowa

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