News World The Atlantic urgently calls on Congress to impeach Donald Trump

The Atlantic urgently calls on Congress to impeach Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been accused of attacking the foundations of America’s constitutional democracy. Photo: Getty
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The Atlantic magazine has given 50 reasons why Donald Trump should be kicked out of office, accusing the President of endangering American democracy and calling on the House of Representatives to urgently open impeachment proceedings.

The opinion piece, penned by writer and editor Yoni Appelbaum, comes as the US enters day 27 of the partial government shutdown which has almost 5000 federal workers seeking unemployment benefits as they face another missed pay check.

A US Air Force bus at the US Capitol Plaza during the government shutdown.  Photo: Getty

Mr Appelbaum accused the US President of failing to fulfil his constitutional obligations, saying Mr Tump displayed no evidence that he even understands what they are.

He argued that Mr Trump has “routinely privileged his self-interest above the responsibilities of the presidency” by using his platform to promote his own personal financial interests and demanding that public officials place their loyalty in him ahead of the American people.

“The House of Representatives can no longer dodge its constitutional duty,” he wrote, adding that Mr Trump’s actions during his first two years in office “clearly meet, and exceed, the criteria” for impeachment.

Mr Appelbaum believes Mr Trump has deliberately “inflamed America’s divisions” due to the alleged erosion of civil liberties and by mounting a “concerted challenge” to the doctrine of separation of powers and showing little respect to the rule of law.

“He [Mr Trump] has set himself against the American idea, the principle that all of us—of every race, gender, and creed—are created equal.”

In arguing a case for the impeachment of Mr Trump, The Atlantic‘s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg detailed the 50 moments that defined an “improbable presidency” – their top reason being the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border.

A Honduran asylum seeker child cries near the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. Photo: Getty

This is followed by the “President’s pursuit of white power” most notably through his attempts to deport immigrants and their American family members who reportedly posed no threat to public safety.

Other reasons for impeachment included Mr Trump withholding the release of his tax returns, engaging in a secret meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, firing FBI Director James Comey and discriminating against African-American athletes.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. Photo: Getty

A new PBS NewsHour poll revealed 57 per cent of voters would vote against Mr Trump in the 2020 presidential election and 54 per cent blamed him for the shutdown.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid the data firm Redfinch Solutions to manipulate two public opinion polls in favour of Trump before the 2016 presidential campaign.
President Donald Trump during his ‘Thank You Tour’ after his success to office. Photo: Getty

The Journal said Cohen commissioned John Gauger, who runs RedFinch Solutions, to write a computer script to repeatedly vote for Trump in a February 2015 Drudge Report poll on potential Republican candidates.

The move came as Mr Trump was preparing to enter the 2016 presidential election race, the newspaper reported.

Mr Trump ranked fifth in the Drudge Report poll with about 24,000 votes, or 5 per cent of the total, according to the Journal.

The attempts to influence the polls ultimately proved largely unsuccessful but does shed a light on the tactics of the Trump campaign and Cohen’s role within it.

US President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. Photo: Getty

The Atlantic‘s Mr Appelbaum noted that some of the President’s most vocal critics have come from his own party.

He said the President’s future should not be left in the hands of the public but that Congress has a constitutional duty to initiate a transparent investigation into Mr Trump’s alleged wrongdoing.

“Only by authorizing a dedicated impeachment inquiry can the House begin to assemble disparate allegations into a coherent picture, forcing lawmakers to consider both whether specific charges are true and whether the president’s abuses of his power justify his removal,” Mr Appelbaum wrote.

Although the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in November’s mid-term elections, they most likely won’t be pushing Congress to impeach Mr Trump for fear that the move would backfire politically.

However Mr Appelbaum argues that impeachment would be the “antidote to chaos” and help drive media coverage of Mr Trump to his “debilities”, damage his re-election prospects, and shift the debate to a rules based process.

“It’s a process that should be triggered only when a president’s betrayal of his basic duties requires it.

“But Trump’s conduct clearly meets that threshold. The only question is whether Congress will act,” Mr Appelbaum wrote.

-with agencies