Robert Reich: Trump is usurping Congress’s power and Democrats must impeach him

Reich is now calling for Trump's impeachment
Economist Robert Reich. Photo by Albaum. License CC Universal Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In the past, economist Robert Reich has expressed skepticism about impeaching President Donald Trump, writing in a 2018 opinion piece that it would be a better idea if Democrats “annulled” Trump’s presidency instead. But that was when the respected political commentator, who served in the administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton believed Republicans would still have control of the Senate. He also stressed not a single president in the nation’s history has ever been removed from office through impeachment or through a Senate trial, Alternet reports.

But Reich is definitely re-thinking this.

In an opinion piece for Newsweek, he writes that Trump has trampled the Constitution so badly that striving for impeachment is “the right thing to do” now.

Reich, who served as Clinton’s Secretary of Labor said he knows that Republicans still have a majority in the Senate and that perhaps “an impeachment inquiry plays into Trump’s hands by convincing some wavering voters that Democrats and the ‘Deep State’ are out to get Trump, thereby giving him more votes than he’d otherwise get.”

Now, however, with Trump saying he’ll ignore all Congressional subpoenas, Reich says the U.S. is deep into a “constitutional crisis” and the Democrats must impeach him, despite the “political risk” because it’s the moral thing to do.

“By issuing a blanket refusal to respond to any congressional subpoena, Trump is saying Congress has no constitutional authority oversee the executive branch,” Reich adds. “He’s telling America that congress is a subordinate branch of government, rather than a co-equal branch. Forget separation of powers.”

But he also had problems with Trump’s relentless pandering for his wall as well.

“By spending money on his ‘wall’ that Congress has explicitly refused to authorize, Trump is saying that Congress no longer has any constitutional authority over spending. Goodbye checks and balances.”

Trump is continually undermining the U.S.’s system of checks and balances, and that, Reich says, demands an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats.

“The core purpose of the United States Constitution is to prevent tyranny,” he notes. “That’s whth ey the framers of the constitution distributed the power among the president, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s why each of the three branches was designed to limit the powers of the other two. In other words, the framers anticipated the possibility of a Donald Trump.”

In conclusion, Reich insists it’s imperative that House Democrats conduct an impeachment inquiry as part of their constitutional duty. Even if it’s not politically advantageous to do so.

“Donald Trump surely appears to be usurping the powers of the Congress,” he writes. “Under these circumstances, the constitution mandates that the house undertake an impeachment inquiry and present evidence to the Senate. This may not be the practical political thing to do. But it is the right thing to do.”

Trump is running this country into the ground. Hopefully, enough Democrats will see fit to begin impeachment proceedings.

Featured image by Albaum, License CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons