The Articles of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump: A Draft

We edited the articles against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and came up with articles against President Trump.

Comments: 200

  1. This is a instructive column that shows how to adapt prior efforts to impeach can be useful as template for crafting the articles of impeachment in case of Trump. But the writer makes one correct observation but overlooks its importance and hence its impact on the difference between "then" and "now." Mr. Philbrick correctly notes that "Impeachment is often said to be a political process." And that is why it is important for the Democrats to catch any favorable winds in their efforts to impeach Trump. But, if impeachment is a political process, then it is critical to read the political climate correctly. "Then" there were many Senators more inclined to do what was in the interest of the country and not merely protect the President. "Now' there is no single Republican Senator that I am aware of who is willing to buck the President and stand up for due process, morality and other such quaint principles. Each one of the Republican senators, starting with the shameless and feckless McConnell, is more deeply inside the pocket of Trump than his own lapdog. Even if the House moved the resolution with a large majority which included a substantial number of Republicans, it will die on the Senate floor. And that will add fuel to Trump and fury to his already enraged base; surely a political suicide. Bottom line: Impeachment is a political process, but there are strong political headwinds that make it not worthwhile to go down that path. At least for now.

  2. I see a potentially different narrative. The full Mueller report is released and witnesses testify. This shows the true extent of the crimes. The senate may still not vote to impeach, but many reasonable people who voted for Trump (and had voted for Obama) see him for what he really is. It may of course not go this way, but an impeachment is an inquiry and it will bring to light a lot more info than there is now (in spoken terms, not written- Americans don't read).

  3. I don't understand those who say there is no reason for the House to impeach if the Senate won't convict. Look at it this way: if the rules allowed it, McConnell would convict a Democratic president and then dare the House not to impeach him. Occam's razor: the greatest threat to democracy is the Democratic leadership has abrogated its Constitutional duties for political expediency thus offering neither difference nor distinction from the Republican Party. People are essentially disenfranchised as careerism has replaced representational government.

  4. While past practice is instructive, the real "crimes" of President Trump are his abuse of his presidential power. There are many examples, but an easy one to point to is the use of emergency powers to effectively steal the right to raise taxes (tariffs) from Congress. This impeachment process should be seen as an exercise in Congress defending its powers from a president who has usurped those powers for himself. That's the real threat to our democracy and Congress needs to show it has the teeth to protect its turf. Impeachment is the tool the founders gave Congress. It's time for them to use it.

  5. I agree, 617. This draft limits itself, following too closely the sources of past impeachments and the Mueller report. Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors go far beyond the Russian interference and coverup. Along with your example of tariffs, the child separation fiasco at the border was an abuse of power (with coverup), redirection of soldiers' pay and pensions to wall building, against the will of Congress, is an abuse of power. Hiring incompetent relatives and interfering with the screening process to get them top secret clearance is an abuse of power. Dangling pardons and giving them to racists is an abuse of power. Conducting foreign policy to enrich himself is an abuse of power. The articles of impeachment should aim for comprehensiveness. We need an historical record of this presidency, and lord knows the Trump administration won't be leaving much of a paper trail.

  6. Most of us realize this will & should be, an act of conscience/duty by the House of Representatives. We also intuit when the proposed articles arrive at our spineless Senate, the measures will fail. How about fast forwarding the entire mess, and lets get on w/ winnowing the all too large pool of Democratic presidential candidates? Thank you for doing the work of Congress for them....maybe this will prompt further action on their part.

  7. Both can be done. Giving a corrupt and traitorous president a pass is an awful precedent. Let the Senate refuse to remove him from office. They should be on the record for their position.

  8. Mr. Ian Prasad Philbrick singled handed, you did Congress a big favor. Please send a copy to Ms. Pelosi. It will be very hard not to proceed with an impeachment process and think that Democrats are doing their jobs. The main difference between past impeachments and hopefully Trump's, is that most of Trump's actions to obstruct justice are very public in Tweeter, including negotiation of Presidential Pardons to Mueller's witnesses and prisoners. If the tariffs war with Mexico gets bad enough, some GOP Senators might choose to keep their seats over their boss' job preservation.

  9. Let's not forget his interview with Lester Holt where he sat in front of a camera and told us why he fired Comey, or how he stood in the oval office with Russians and laughed about why he fired Comey. He laughs at everyone, including his base. He could shoot someone in Time Square and they wouldn't care. If you are famous you can do anything.

  10. First of all, I'm sure Nancy Pelosi has staffers who scour WaPo and NYTimes every day. There's no need to "send her a copy." Second, I can write ten more articles of impeachment by lunchtime. Three seems a paltry sum. Third: Censure Barr and Mnuchin, Impeach Barr and Mnuchin, and then, IF Bonespurs by chance 'wins' in 2020, impeach him as well. Hopefully, won't be necessary. Fourth: Get Flynn and the rest of them INTO JAIL, and publicize it along with publicizing the exact content of Mueller's report. Convince the American people so we have a 45-state sweep in 2020.

  11. Readers: Do you think that Trump's use of the "national security" and "national emergency" arguments to get his way are an abuse of presidential power? This appears to be the making of an Article of Impeachment par excellence. He is clearly playing games, banking on the Senate's inability to oppose him and, even if it does (such as when 12 Republican senators voted against Trump's use of national emergency authorities to go around Congress and provide funding for the border), banking on the Senate's and the House's inability to muster the 2/3 majorities to override his veto. These are not just "legal games." Trump is abusing power, in ways that Nixon never couldn't dream of. Comments, please.

  12. I think 12 GOP Senators voting against Trump was telling. In turn I think 3 GOP Senators would vote to convict Trump so a majority of the Senate would believe he is a criminal. How's would all that winning look then?

  13. Typo: Make that "could" vs. "couldn't" in the second to last sentence.

  14. If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them. I think what the author meant to say is "If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably 'aid' them. In any case, an impeachment of the president in this Congress will probably go no where. Where the House can write a charge of impeachment against the president. It requires the Senate to conduct a trial of the president. With a republican majority in the Senate, the "trial" will be tabled or delayed until after the 2020 election. In that election, it will make interesting "political theater". Where slander and libel will be co-conspirators.

  15. A very almost impassioned harangue that likely will go nowhere. And, if implemented, will likely cause great distress to Dem Reps running for reelection in so-called Trump favored districts. So the entire thing at this point in time is 98 pct political. Time may tell, but most voters or all stripes are way more concerned with the basics of economy, health care, housing, education, transportation and business, imo.

  16. Pete in SA: Our very existence as the most powerful democracy in the world is at stake due to the assault by this president and his henchmen on the rule of law. That is the base which supports all the rest of it. Our economy, health care, housing, education, transportation, business, etc are supported by our Constitution and the rule of law. The president is destroying what is central to our good government and the Republicans are allowing him to do it.

  17. our constitution is at risk? you mean like when FDR put citizes in camps? or when he tried to pack the scotus? or when wilson signed the seditiuon act and jailed government critics? calm down, pal. and if you REALLY believe our constitution is at risk, are you prepared to buy a gun and defend it if it comes to that when trump becomes a fascist? this is pure childish hyperbole. cant we debate issues w/o resorting to this drama? lemme guess--the world is coming to an end in 12 years from climate change, too, right?

  18. I think the American people need to be educated on exactly what Mueller discovered in his investigation. If there is an American who supports someone who covers up what the Russian's did to our election, they aren't Americans.

  19. Very interesting and useful. Unfortunately, Mr. Philbrick only gets a B for this effort. He just covered the obvious matters as they pertain to Clinton and Nixon. Time for some Fox inspired whataboutism. Money laundering. Aiding and abetting known enemies of state by falling in love with Kim, and telling the world that Putin didn't do all that he did and many times over. Lying and concealing his interactions with Kim and Putin and misrepresenting the United States of America in order to boost his political status at the expense of our national security. (That's a really big one). Campaign finance law violations. Nepotism. Violating his oath of office by appointing totally unqualified, incompetent people to high level positions based solely on their loyalty. Appointing industry tools to critical cabinet positions in order to financially benefit those industries at the expense of public health and security. Abusing his power to issue tariffs for political gain resulting in severe damage to our economy. Dismantling long standing environmental protections as a payoff to industries that support him at the expense of public health and safety. Using the power of his office for personal financial gain. That should be enough to move this up to an A. Now the legal types can add in all the fancy wording and create about 10 more articles of impeachment.

  20. Trump's consistent effort to undermine/subvert/ignore the case against Russian interference in our 2016 elections -- even against evidence provided to the public by the DOJ -- is a strong case of dereliction presidential duty to protect the US. This needs to be front-and-center so the impeachment case will ring true with more of America.

  21. This a list of stuff, nothing here to impeach on, IMHO. Many who simply hate DT will do ANYTHING to take him out, but the Constitution lists the grounds and these are going to do it. Hate consumes the haters, many have lost touch with reality.

  22. I fully agree with this comment: these drafts lack a key component that needs investigation before articles are drawn up: what were Trump financial dealings that motivated the obstruction and alleged witness tampering? What connects the Russians to Trump's empire in such a way that he has furthered their interests in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution and in violation of his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That's the essential ingredient lacking.

  23. This is an excellent roadmap for the impeachment efforts against Trump. However, I found that some of what was deleted should have remained, such as Trump paying for the silence of witnesses. Thank you for this column.

  24. A concise final draft would be much more useful.

  25. Did you not read the opinion piece to the end? They posted a 'clean draft' (e.g., strikeouts removed, etc.) of what Trump's articles of impeachment would look like.

  26. what do think this is? as concise and clear as legal parlance allows...

  27. Pelosi's strategy seems to be based on the assumption that there is no chance that DJT will win re-election. In fact, there is a significant chance that he will. If she thinks that an impeachment process is too divisive now, what are the chances it will be less divisive/have greater popular support the day after an election victory for DJT? And abandon all hope after that...give him 4 more years unchecked, and he will destroy what remains of our institutions/Constitution.

  28. This sentence doesn't make sense... If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them.

  29. Jesus let it go. It isn't going to happen. Hate to break it to the DNC but the GOP won't lift a finger to help the Dems. They will let them engage in pointless committee investigations, divisive intraparty debates over impeachment. Much energy will be wasted & bad blood sown. In the meantime Republicans will quietly advance multiple agendas. And in the end we won't learn anything new. The narrative since DAY ONE was there was blatant obstruction & Mueller would be a major player in revealing this obstruction. But the only clear thing that Mueller did was to remove himself from the investigation. Trump will never resign. The GOP senate won't convict him. His supporters won't desert him. Pelosi to her enduring credit is trying to keep everyone's eye on the ball. But leftist zealots are determined to drive the party straight off the cliff. Impeaching Trump will facilitate his winning a 2nd term. Impeachment hearings driven by Progressive fanatics will over-reach. It will be easily spun by Trump as a witch hunt to fair-minded voters. When impeachment fails in the Senate, Trump will again claim victory. The pure efficiency that Dems are able to deploy when it comes to shooting themselves in the foot is often breathtaking. This is the one time we should resist the temptation to pull the trigger. The excessive amount of attention to this can backfire miserably, with Trump being reelected & it not being the result of Russian interference. Time to move on & focus on winning in 2020.

  30. There is overwhelming evidence that Russia systematically worked to tilt the election to Trump. Why? Some might claim that Putin hated Clinton and did what he could to elect Trump. The attempted assassination of Skripal points to the possibility of such vindictiveness. However, a more likely justification is that based on Trump's financial condition and apparent past rescues thru Russian money the attempt to help Trump may have been motivated by expectations that electing Trump could provide benefits to Russia including relief from sanctions and recognition of the seizure of Crimea as legal. The intelligence information appears to have included reference to large sums offered to Trump for such benefits. Trump's seeking a back channel to Russia prior to the inauguration, the oval office meeting with the Russian ambassador as well as Trump's private meeting with Putin in Helsinki among other actions raise concerns. These issues have not been fully investigated and much of the information would be top secret intelligence rather than material that could be the subject of a criminal trial. Trump's financial dealings remain hidden but could reveal some of the points of vulnerability to Russian influence. There remains the possibility of treason that warrants further investigation. Collusion in the election is small potatoes compared to this larger threat that was indicated by the intelligence before the Mueller investigation began.

  31. Impeachment is not a badge worn with pride. It is a stain. More over The Republicans and their Federalist "think tanks" ( talk about oxymorons) continue to push the theory and practice of the imperial presidency. This is a dangerous development in our system and needs to be checked now and for the future. Impeachment was designed for these moments of peril.

  32. Just reading the title of the article this morning gave me momentary relief from the unrelenting abuse that we as a nation have been subject to by the vile Trump. The feeble reaction of Pelosi and Congress to the stunning subversion of democracy that has been the mainstay of the Trump so-called presidency has been extremely demoralizing to the people of this country. It has rendered us toothless and disempowered, and everyday it gets worse as Trump becomes bolder and bolder and the Congress spends its time making questionable guesses as to what the politically expedient course is. I am so ashamed of them that I wish to abandon my decades long membership in the Democratic Party. Their reactions are not proportional to the crimes that he has committed! Are they waiting for him to declare marshall law? Mueller himself had to highlight what they need to do in his recent appearance. And STILL they dither and dawdle and give the criminals yet one more chance. There are very few Profiles in Courage here.

  33. “So if you are doing your constitutional duty as an elected member of Congress, how do you define high crimes and misdemeanors?” This presidency would be textbook, no?

  34. "If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them." What does this mean?

  35. The second graf leads off with "If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them." Something's missing at the end of the sentence -- "probably them" doesn't make any sense.

  36. How about adding a verb to this first sentence of the second paragraph: "If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them."

  37. Impressive article! For an impeachment to succeed, Congress can use the Nixon process as a model. At first, Nixon had enough support to fend off a conviction in the Senate, as does Trump. It was the investigation that produced facts that changed the minds of Congress and the public at large. The Nixon tape was central. It was subpoenaed and blocked by Nixon. It took the Supreme Court to rule that it had to be produced, and the Nixon resignation followed when the tape revealed obstruction. With Trump blocking everything possible, if the House were to initiate an impeachment investigation, the Nixon precedent at the Supreme Court almost surely would force the delivery of the Trump documents and testimony by his aides. This will clear Trump if he is innocent and enhance the prospects of a conviction in the Senate if he is guilty. Without the documents and testimony the nation will remain in limbo through the 2020 elections. If the House does not impeach, this will provide a new precedent, overturning the Nixon impeachment process precedent. It will become a roadmap for a future president to behave criminally without fear of being removed from office. By drafting articles of impeachment, the House can use the Supreme Court precedent from Nixon to obtain documents and testimony necessary to proceed. Trump cannot block that evidence. An impeachment inquiry may be necessary to invoke that precedent. The impeachment inquiry needs to begin in earnest.

  38. Does anyone actually think that impeachment will result in trump's removal from office? At this stage, it is very unlikely that articles of impeachment would even pass in the House. There are about 60 House members who are pushing for impeachment. That is almost 160 votes short of a majority. And if the House does, somehow, manage to impeach him, McConnell has vowed to ignore it. There will not even be a serious trial in the Senate, and no possibility of conviction. If the purpose of impeachment is to embarrass him, that won't work either. Nothing seems to embarrass him--it's all "fake news". The only sure way to remove him is to investigate all of the criminal activities of his administration and his business empire, expose his activities to the public, and beat him at the ballot box in 2020.

  39. Again I have to congratulate the graphics team. This is excellent work.

  40. The House only starts the process, the trial is in the Senate. What will happen? Now if the House investigates beforehand then there might be a chance if the facts are presented to Senators.

  41. Excellent and actionable TODAY. One benefit of the continuing House investigation is the likelihood that exploration of Trump's Russian financial connections and his campaign's interaction with the Russians, may yield conclusive proof of treason, conspiracy and collusion. Obviously this is something he is trying to prevent and hence the stonewalling and fear of the House inquiries. Still, as this article makes clear, there are more than adequate grounds for impeachment.

  42. "Donald J. Trump, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct the investigation of such Russian contacts and potential obstruction of justice; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities." Agreed: He did these do these things, however, his motive was to save the presidency, not himself. The President is the voice of the nation. We only get one president at a time and his obligation is to the American people who put him in that job. Of course he has to neutralize attacks on him. That's his duty. How else could he do his job but to fight those who would degrade the presidency? Presidents have to do bad things so they can do better ones. The better one is to represent the nation. Unless he is removed from office the only thing that matters is that he is the voice of the American people and his approval rating proves that he is squarely in line with America. Laws matter less than representation. Laws change. Presidents change. Democracy demands that the President obey the people first, and the laws, second.

  43. Wait, so your argument is that a president with a 40% approval rating has an obligation to obstruct justice if he's challenged by congress? Future presidents should break the law if congress mounts a legal challenge? Is that seriously your argument? The Constitution literally demands a system of checks and balances, so if one branch of government is acting unconstitutionally the others can stop them. But Maxine and Max have no use for checks and balances, because apparently Maxine and Max don't care about the constitution.

  44. A president must be able to be the voice of protest against laws that the voters deem are bad laws. The president has to be above the law in order to retain the integrity of the presidency. If the people don't want that, they can remove the president and then pursue legal remedies. However, until that happens the integrity of the democracy, not of the laws, is what is paramount. The president's privilege is a check on the abuses of the legislative branch. The legislative branch must use due process to remove the president, but short of that, they can't disallow the president from speaking for the people with his decisions and actions. Not having a president, in a democracy, is worse than having a criminal one. We've never not had one, but we've had dozens of criminal ones.

  45. Please explain how his approval rating, which is well below 50%, proves he is squarely in line with America.

  46. If the House Judiciary Committee needs concrete framework for their impeachment inquiry--here it is. Best thing I've read since the Mueller Report. Succinct and brilliant!

  47. I'm about halfway through reading the Mueller Report. (I can only ponder who few fellow Americans--either voters of members of Congress--are doing this "homework.") As others have already commentedf, Section II of the Report provides the charges for impeachment. The House may draft them, but Trump/Putin/McConnell's Senate won't act on them. This is the darkness in which democracy dies, and Americans appear to lazy to hit the barricades.

  48. Some criticize Nancy Pelosi and others who for at least now oppose even an impeachment inquiry. One argument adduced is the impossibility that the Republican controlled Senate would vote to impeach. Another is that impeachment proceedings would work towards the President's political advantage. Another, is that Trump is such a danger, that anything that my negatively impact the 2020 election and bring about a close election may empower Trump to undermine the results. Yet all of these calculations are based on key assumptions. First that the American people as a whole can't discern a legitimate inquiry from a deliberate effort to avoid justice. Second, that our Constitutional system has been so weakened that Trump could literally steal the election, after the results are in. It also assumes that reasonable proof of treason would not move a Republican controlled Senate to impeach. Yet, if any or all of these assumptions are correct- then perhaps it is better to expose our democracy for what is is- nothing more than a piece of paper. Those that support impeachment are arguing that this is not the case. As for Pelosi- what is perhaps most frightening is not that she is resisting impeachment- but the reasons behind it. Let's hope she is not right.

  49. There is so much bias in favor of impeachment in the New York Times that I begin to wonder if their interest is driven by revenue considerations. Understand, I am no Trump fan. But everyone knows he's guilty, and his approval rating among Republicans is still 90%. Because of this the Senate will never vote to convict. Why impeach when it plays into Trumps hands politically? Especially since the House of Representatives can't even figure out how to compel testimony from subpoenaed witnesses. For any Trump voters who are still capable of rational thought, his actions are on public display every day. Let the voters be the judge in 2020.

  50. Dougpetty, under your logic, you can't stop a serial robber because he'll probably move to another town in a year or two. When the republicans in the House are like bad cops being paid by the suspect to look the other way, it IS more of a challenge for the Democrats to 'figure out' how to address such a lawless bunch. You impeach because it's the right thing to do under the constitution. There's a rulebook right in front of us, it's been used successfully before, and folks like you seem intent on mucking it up with weird fantasy. The serial robber already has been caught with all our things, lied about it and told us it was our own fault cuz we're stupid. Now you folks sneer at Congressional law enforcement as ineffectual. When did you decide to go soft on crime?

  51. Read the details. What Trump has done out weighs both Clinton and Nixon. Clinton lied about oral sex and got impeached for it. Nixon obstructed justice, lied, had the CIA go after his enemies list, refused to answer lawful subpoenas. Trump has done all that and much more. As for why impeach him? Nixon also enjoyed support UNTIL the evidence became public during hearings, then it rapidly was lost until it became clear he would be impeached and convicted leading to resignation instead. A big difference between Trump and Nixon is Nixon was a competent president, and also a big crook. Trump is not competent. Trump has also violated many more laws along the way. Popular or not impeachment is the right thing to do as a demonstration no man is above the law. If the senates fails to convict it will be on them and on the record that the Republicans fully support corruption and incompetence.

  52. without impeachment, history will say that Congress believes that consensual sex between two consenting adults and a lie about it was worse than ... well, the list of donnie's transgressions won't fit here but start with ... emoluments clause violations aplenty, rampant nepotism, usurpation of Congress' power of the purse, unilateral abrogation of multiple treaties ratified by Congress, and calling fast food hamberders a celebratory meal for athletes.

  53. This article and the work put into it seem like a good diversion from reality when someone does not get what they want - a Clinton Presidency. Like everyone that experiences a loss, there will be a point in time in the future when you will move on. Hopefully, that will come soon for you. Good luck.

  54. And yet, if Hillary Clinton were president, you'd be braying for her impeachment, along with every other Republican in America.

  55. No, that is not true. It is simple for me. We have a democratic society that has rules and votes for a President. There is a winner and and loser. I accept the rules and the outcome of that approach.

  56. There are no parallels between the Watergate Scandal and the investigation into the possibility that Russia and the Trump campaign conspired to influence the 2016 election. Watergate began with a crime. Operatives paid by the Nixon reelection campaign were caught redhanded as they broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant listening devices. The “Smoking Gun Tape” proved Nixon ordered his aides to cover up the crime by lying to federal investigators. The Mueller report determined that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspire or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Nixon had a crime to cover up; Trump had no crime to cover up. And, yes, this does make a difference. The absence of an underlying crime makes obstruction charge difficult to sustain.

  57. Sorry to burst your bubble but the 11 instances of obstruction cited in the Mueller report significantly limited the gathering of evidence for a conspiracy charge. Obstruction charges are routinely prosecuted without an underlying crime because obstruction is intended to and does in fact "cover up" the evidence required for criminal prosecution.

  58. Obstruction is a crime. You might not like it, but it the law. Trump obstructed justice. Why?

  59. Trump did plainly and repeatedly obstruct an investigation into possible criminal activity. There is no doubt about that. He did it publicly and often. As for "sustaining" an obstruction charge, all that requires is that a majority of Representatives are convinced that the charge is warranted. I believe that's true already. The debate about whether to impeach is not about whether impeachment is justified but whether impeachment is the best course of action for the country.

  60. Thanks for the draft. It is a useful service. I agree with the readers who point out that Trump’s impeachment charges must include more than obstruction of justice, which, as a “procedural” crime, may not carry much weight with the skeptics. The Russian collusion was a real “high crime” even if it wasn’t indictable. Other examples of abuse of power and corruption (some were cited by other readers) are easy to locate, and should be highlighted. The cruel treatment of asylum applicants is one obvious case.

  61. The author’s cites the president’s “attempt” to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as one of three reason the president should be impeached. Mueller’s appointment raised eyebrows because fired FBI Director James Comey had been Mueller’s deputy when Mueller was FBI director. The Mueller report shows news media reports about Muller’s perceived conflict of interest persuaded Trump that Mueller should be repaced. According to the report, Trump told White House counsel, “Call Rod [Rosenstein], tell him Mueller has conflicted and can’t be special counsel.” McGahn refused to make the call. Instead of picking up the phone and calling the deputy attorney general himself, Trump called Chris Christie to ask for advice. Christie warned him that replacing Mueller would cost him the support of congressional Republicans. So, Trump relented and dropped the matter. He realized it would be construed as obstruction. That the McGahn episode is a primary exhibit in the case for impeachment indicates the weakness of the case. The Senate is not going to impeach Trump decided not to take an action that might be construed as obstruction.

  62. Thanks for acknowledging that Trump took an action that could be construed as obstruction. In your comment you admit that 'Trump told White House counsel, “Call Rod [Rosenstein], tell him Mueller has conflicted and can’t be special counsel.”' Trump's ignorance of the law of conflicts of interest (indeed his increasingly apparent disengagement from reality) does not let him off the hook. Trump's reelection campaign has an additional impetus: he's trying to remain in office until the statute of limitations on his acts of obstruction is tolled.

  63. I did not acknowledge Trump took a action that could be construed as obstruction. I said Trump decided not to replace Mueller because it might be construed as obstruction. Trump says he meant to raise the issue the Mueller should be replaced due to conflicts of interest. It is odd that Rosenstein appointed a former FBI director to investigate the firing of a FBI director who had been his deputy director, Bbut Rosenstein would no have fired Mueller based on a phone call from Don McGahn. He would picked up the phone and called Trump to discuss the matter. But the bottom like that Trump could have ordered Muller replaced but decided not to.

  64. And surely Trump refrained from shooting someone on Fifth Avenue because it might be construed as attempted murder, right? Why should YOU go to prison for a crime that someone else saw you commit? But for McGahan's disobedience, Trump would have caused the firing of Mueller. Trump certainly made the attempt. And that is only one of many wrongful acts taken by Trump that, while not charged as a crime (at the moment), constitute abuses of the presidential authority.

  65. Excellent resource. Thank you.

  66. Love how this is done. I've wavered back and forth on whether the House should move forward to impeach. Given the case laid out in the Mueller report, I believe it's incumbent on the House to proceed with impeachment. It's their constitutional duty. Trump has committed crimes and behaved in ways that are unfit for a POTUS. This needs to go on record and be laid concisely and coherently such that the American people will fully understand the seriousness of his crimes. It's not useful to do all this hand wringing worrying about what the Senate will do. Clinton was impeached over lying about a sex scandal and he was popular. Trump's crimes are so much worse and indeed, he is a threat to our country in the way he undermines our democratic institutions. He already has low approval among the American people.

  67. Second paragraph: "If Democrats do move to impeach Mr. Trump, the articles of impeachment drafted against past presidents will probably them." This is a fragment.

  68. DJT wilfully and knowingly insulted the intelligence of the Congress and citizens of the United States by lying repeatedly and obviously, and dishonestly accusing journalists of 'fake news', so as to confuse the People and render them misinformed and unable to distinguish fact from fiction or partake rationally of their democratic rights, thereby treasonously attempting to undermine the essential Constitutional basis of government in this country, for the sole purpose of advantaging himself materially, concealing his personal misdeeds and abetting the international spread of the same antidemocratic forces that this country has sacrificed so much, so nobly, to combat.

  69. I heard Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney soil himself himself on CNN yesterday arguing there was no point in impeaching Trump because the Senate would never convict him. He then pontificated about about the Dems' duty to focus on the issues and pass legislation. He failed to mention that McConnell won't even bring House bills up for a vote. I hope Ocasio-Cortez identifies an up and comer sets her sights on his district.

  70. No question at all except is it worth it? The Republican Senate will stonewall not only impeachment but everything else the Democratic House comes up with. McConnell killed bi-partisanship. He's bet the farm, as so far, he's winning. George Washington is the father of our democracy. Mitch McConnell is the father of the oligarchy. Will young people vote to change this? No one knows.

  71. It's the Constitution at stake. It is our whole form of government at stake. The fight might look dire right now, but it is necessary for our very preservation, and it is our only real hope of salvaging anything worthwhile.

  72. As an ex-prosecutor and state and federal litigator, the only thing wrong with these proposed articles is that they lack detail readily at hand from the Mueller investigation and, for that matter, from public record such as the Times and Post stories on Trump's conduct. While it is not necessary to list every supporting detail in a charging document (or its analogue, a civil complaint), there is every reason to include one or more representative examples re: each respective act. The Iqbal-Twombly federal pleading standard, while not directly applicable, is a good guide for where to draw the line between summary statements like those in this draft and a document that presents a plausible case for impeachment. At minimum, the names of persons he tried to influence or plausibly did influence--a distinction that will be firmed up during the impeachment hearings by the witnesses--should be inserted, and so forth.

  73. Nice to see this theoretical road map, albeit the essence of most of it was obvious two long years -and thousands of destructive-to-democracy normalization episodes- ago. Most Congressional Democrats in 1974 had backbones. That was a different century, a different America, and a different universe in terms of political effectivness and competence in legislative government.

  74. Exactly what “essence” was obvious?

  75. Also nice to see the NYT Pick can also be written by someone who has an opinion to counter those like "terribly weak case" and "his motive was to save the presidency". I thought today might be opposite day and no one told me!

  76. "Most Congressional Democrats in 1974 had backbones." This is a salient point. How much of this do you attribute to corruption; the disastrous money in politics we have now versus what was the case 45 years ago?

  77. "...great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and [to] the manifest injury of the people of the United States of America." That is exactly how Donald J. Trump will be remembered.

  78. This is a terribly weak case. Having what turned out to be an innocent man with no underlying crime trying to persuade others there’s no need to investigate a non crime and believing the investigation of this non crime to be politically motivated. Remember, Trump knew he was innocent so framing his actions in that context is incredibly relevant. The only thing this does is to make me think Nixon and Clinton were both overprosecuted as well.

  79. If Trump knew he was innocent, why did he try so hard to keep the investigation from happening or witnesses from testifying? An innocent man would have wanted to get to the bottom of it.

  80. There was an underlying crime. Many actually. However, nearly a dozen specifically relating to the President. Under DOJ guidance though, the Special Counsel if forbidden from accusing the President of a crime. You can't use "no crime" as an argument to forgive the President's wrong doing when the President is incapable of being formally charged with a crime. Catch-22. Circular logic. Logical fallacy. Call it whatever you want but your reasoning makes no sense. A sitting President needs to be impeached in order to determine whether a crime was committed. That's the whole point.

  81. He has a pattern of criminal behavior that goes back to his youth. Why should anyone believe he's different now? Sorry to tell you, the self-proclaimed Extremely Stable Genius has feet of clay. Educate yourself by reading, for example, this fine newspaper. It's not flawless, but it doesn't try to deceive you.

  82. I applaud the author for this effort. His observations near the end of the article are important, however: Trump has committed many more potentially impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors that must be organized, documented, and introduced in the form of charges. Congressman Nadler seems to understand that his difficult challenge is to convey all of this to the American people in an understandable and convincing manner.

  83. Trump richly deserves not only to be impeached, but also imprisoned. His defender's nutty claim the Mueller Report, by not tying Trump to a specific crime, proves there was no underlying crime to conceal, therefore no need for Trump to obstruct justice, therefore no obstruction of justice. But no evidence of a crime isn't evidence of no crime. On the contrary, the Mueller Report is full of evidence crimes had been committed, just no way - thanks to the president's lack of cooperation, to find evidence of the smoking gun variety. Trump's defenders have a better argument claiming Trump was ignorant he was breaking the law when he was telling those who work for him to lie, or threatening those who had worked for him with dire consequences if they turned 'rat'. But then, what kind of leader are they defending? Oh yeah, one with a hand that can hold a pen and sign bills they put in front of him. Forgot for a sec.

  84. Substitute "He" for "Donald Trump" to the Articles: it is incredibly similar to parts of the Declaration of Independence: He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. ...He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Land... He has obstructed the Administration of Justice.... He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices... For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us... For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world... He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people... We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. IMPEACH!

  85. Let’s get our terms clear. To impeach is not the same as to remove from office. The House Impeaches, which is like an indictment. The Senate then removes. Or not. They choose how to respond to the indictment, but the indictment stands for all time, no matter what course of action the Senate chooses. Impeaching Trump is an irremovable stain, whether or not the Senate removes from office. If impeached, Trump would still run for a second term as a man “impeached.” Let us follow the Constitution, which provides a remedy for a chief executive run amok. We are either a nation of Laws or we deserve to be shamed by historians of the future - not to speak of our progeny and theirs. We must stand up for Justice and against the lawless, reckless, sociopathic behavior of DJT.

  86. That's right: Impeachment is an irremovable stain that would try to cover an even bigger stain -- the president who, in his narcissistic glory and anger, believes he is the CEO and majority stockholder of USA, effectively the owner of us.

  87. I enjoyed a good laugh reading this morning commuting into the NYC. This article is nothing but gleeful thinking and hog wash! Impeachment will never proceed past the Senate and mark my words: "A Landslide victory for Trump in 2020!" He gets my vote and many others that I know of too.

  88. Speaker Pelosi: If you read these clearly written draft articles od impeachment and still insist that your caucus does not have the moral and constitutional duty to begin immediately the process of an impeachment inquiry, shame on you for your refusal to demonstrate that one political party still stands for justice. Trump will run on victimhood regardless. Be a leader, Ms. Pelosi. Or lose the respect of me and countless other life-long Democrats.

  89. Absolutely silly. Let's review. Trump was investigated for possible collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election. But it turns out there is no evidence that happened. That should be the end of the story. But you people continue to want to remove Trump by any means necessary. So if there was no evidence for conspiracy/cooperation with Russia -- and the Mueller report is clear on this -- then you go after Trump for obstruction. But there was no crime. And he's president and has broad authority. Further, no investigations were impeded. The congressional committees now are simply acting like petulant children. Mueller didn't give them what they wanted so they are throwing a hissy fit. Along with the MSM. Keep it up and Trump will be elected again. And if the dems should manage to win, do you think the repubs are going to allow anything to go forward that the dems propose. Just enough already. You've litigated the 2016 election for 2.5 years + despite no evidence. You simply don't like Trump. Which is fair. But this is ridiculous. You're undermining the democratic process by trying to oust the legally elected president.

  90. Read the report. It states that there was not sufficient evidence when applying the federal criminal standard of conspiracy to guarantee a conviction -- different from no evidence. And even if there was no evidence, the obstruction of justice is defined by federal statute as any "interference with the orderly administration of law and justice." The underlying crime doesn't have to be proven. One more note...Trump became president because of a "democratic process" that enables the loser of an election to be declared the winner.

  91. You obviously didn't read the entire report. Mueller presents no evidence of cooperation or conspiracy with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. He indicted no one. He didn't indict anyone on the Trump team with obstruction although he could have. It's the dog that didn't bark (if that's too obscure for you, look up AC Doyle). Sorry -- the electoral college is how we choose the president. You and your progressive friends just don't get it. You like the constitution or science when it supports your positions but ignore when it doesn't.

  92. Ralph, there is a massive amount of evidence of collusion in the Mueller Report. Trump and his organization had 140 contacts with Russians, including government agents, for example, and they lied about them. Your problem is that you think "collusion" is a defined criminal offense and that Trump was exonerated on that score. It is not and he was not. But "collusion" in the sense of Trump's treacherous encouragement of (and benefit from) the Russian attack on the U.S. election is most definitely an impeachable offense, no matter what the mainstream media, including Fox News, are claiming.

  93. Why is Pelosi so afraid of exploring the truths about trump with the full powers of the House?

  94. I love the graphics showing the changes but the content is laughable. These are all generic accusations that cannot be proved. While everyone want to focus on impeachment, Trump is taking action all over the place - Iran, China, Mexico, North Korea, tariffs, etc. If this Congress goes down this path, they will accomplish nothing else in this session and, in the end, the impeachment will fail. So, the election story next year will be a party of action versus the party of failed impeachment. The Congress should focus on getting something done! To start with, they should usurp the "wall" concept and replace it with a border security solution because that will be the hot button topic in 2020.

  95. You can add at least one more article...Trump's former lawyer testified in federal court that hush-money payments to women Trump had affairs with were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” implicating the president in a federal crime.

  96. What about the money? Inasmuch as impeachment is a political, and not a criminal, process, if we can't bring articles against Donald, we'll never impeach any president. And every subsequent president will have even greater authority than Article II grants, knowing Congress is impotent.

  97. Democrats got an assist from Mueller when he spoke last week. That was the reason he spoke. Not because he expects it to affect whether he testifies before Congress. His intention was to guide Congress towards impeachment. There's never going to be a smoking gun. There's never going to be a "Gotcha!" moment. There's never going to be an iron clad case for turning Senate Republicans against Trump without televised impeachment hearings. And there's never going to be a better time to begin the impeachment process than right now. If Democrats still don't recognize that, they never will. And if they continue to fold under Republican pressure, they risk being perceived as too weak to govern when it comes time to vote.

  98. This is a disgrace. This newspaper has been pining for Trump's removal from day one.

  99. Oh, it's not just this newspaper that's been pining for his removal -- don't forget that most people voted against trump. His treachery and corruption make his entire presidency a disgrace.

  100. Trump’s presidency has been a disgrace from day one. 2020 can’t come too soon.

  101. What aspect of comparing past articles of impeachment to the current case do you consider "a disgrace"? Trump must stand on his merits, not our blind eye.

  102. Good job, Ian Prasad Philbrick and NYT, this kind of diligence is why I pay forty something per month to subscribe. (Go ahead, make this an NYT Pick, I don't mind playing the schill for this piece).

  103. Let's go!

  104. Nancy Pelosi, are you reading this? Time to stop praying and start acting. The New York Times has done your work for you.

  105. Impeachment attempts without the Senate are merely a way of enabling Trump to claim another victory and continue lying to us all.

  106. lets get the ball rolling on this

  107. Impeaching Donald Trump will ensure that he gets re-elected and the Democrats lose the House. Go for it. I dare you.

  108. Ha! First point, Trump will not be re-elected, impeachment or no impeachment. 2nd point- Dems will most likely pick up seats in the House. Bold statements by me, right? When Nixon was first impeached, only 19% of the people were for it. As the hearings began and the facts came out, that changed dramatically. Same thing here today. Just wait until those televised hearings start. Just wait.

  109. Or it will prove without a reasonable doubt that he is a criminal and you and the GOP in the Senate will have to reconcile whether you are okay with a criminal being President of the United States

  110. Hank, only one man can ensure that Donald Trump gets re-elected, and it's the same man who got him elected in 2016: Vlad Putin.

  111. This project moves the debate. It has stalled at the polarizing word "impeachment." The authors undertake the civic duty of a free press by presenting the actual facts of how presidents have been held accountable, and how this case stacks up against them. Thank you. I'm not afraid of words like "impeachment." What concerns me is the prospect of any branch of government willing to be cowed into ignoring the rule of law.

  112. Impeach on what grounds? No charges, and no crime so how do you obstruct? It's over, resistance fighters, you lost.

  113. "no crime, how do you obstruct"? The same way that conspiracy to commit murder is a crime even if there is no murder. The conspiracy itself is a crime, Obstruction of justice is blocking or hindering the process. It is that process that leads to a trial that determines the presence of a crime, then the guilt or not of the perpetrators. Imagine a detective arriving at a suspected crime scene and being denied entrance. That is obstruction. That there was a murder is irrelevant. The detective was obstructed in their investigation. We are a Nation of Laws, not men John Adams, Founder

  114. Obstruction of Justice is a crime. Impeachment is the method of charging. You have lost too. We all have lost.

  115. This falsehood has been debunked ove a hundred times. It's lazy, faulty "logic". Justin Amash has one of the better explanations, look it up. If you obstruct a lawful investigation that is in and of itself obstruction, there doesn't need to be a crime charged. And obstruction can by itself prevent lawful investigators from discovering the truth. Lastly, why obstruct if you know you're innocent (firing Comey, trying to get Mueller canned)?

  116. There is a glaring omission here. Trump's lie about President Obama's birthplace is nothing less than a hate crime. It would be prosecuted as such in many countries, and while it may not be a crime in the US de jure, it is one de facto. And the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is one that allows lawmakers to judge political crimes by a broader standard. The purpose of the lie was to express solidarity with racists and to enable racists to identify themselves by repeating the lie. Trump poisoned our political discourse in an act no different from adding cyanide to the village well. His conduct continues to hurt blacks by emboldening racist policemen and officials at all levels of government. And while Trump may have technically recanted this lie, and we all know that recantation was purely for theater. The retraction was no where on the scale on which Trump repeated his lie again and again, and expanded on with his claims of investigators in Hawaii who "can not believe what they are finding." For more, see https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-birther-timeline-20160916-snap-htmlstory.html And so article 1 should read By failing to forcefully and substantively admit that he lied in his Presidential campaign about where President Obama was born, Donald J. Trump continues to exert a malign influence on the life, liberty, and happiness of black citizens of the United States. His conduct includes the following:

  117. There need to be at least two more Articles, one listing the criminality of the President, including what he has done with his foundation, and what is in the Cohen indictment. He committed the same acts that sent Cohen to prison. The second Article needs to deal with his conflicts. He is making money from his official acts. He is the landlord and tenant of the Post Office building in D.C.

  118. ...yawn... There was no underlying crime - a requirement for currupt intent - and if Mueller had possessed evidence that could support an indictment he would have said so, and produced it. To suggest that impeachment be used to circumvent the justice system, is subversive, and also, a predictable act of the New York Times.

  119. Hello - There doesn't have to be an underlying crime, nor does obstruction have to actually happen. The attempt is just as bad. Check it out.

  120. Nice work.

  121. Thanks Ian Prasad Philbrick for laying out exactly what the text of these Articles of Impeachment could and would be. Well done NYT Technical team with the accompanying graphics that show the edit in dynamic context. No person is above the law, onto Congress !

  122. This is so weak as to be laughable. The 50 House Democrats calling for impeachment represent less than 20 percent of the house, which mirrors where the President polls in the country as a whole. So no, there is no loud cry to act, in fact, Nancy is tactfully pouring cold water on the subject by saying much more work would need to be be done before we consider it. This is like a parent saying "we'll see" when a child wants ice cream after dinner. Operation change the subject. Maybe that will buy her some time for this stupid idea to to fizzle out, who knows. But unless and until the Republicans come on board this is a big fat nothing burger. In the meantime, Mr. Philbrick will have to content himself with wishing and hoping, because at the moment it looks like 4 more years of Mr. Trump is likely.

  123. Plain despicable maneuver with no legs! Instead of such destructive manipulations which do disservice to the electorate, why don't you concentrate on advancing our economic prosperity and national well-being.

  124. The food was bad, and the portions were small!

  125. What a gargantuan waste of time and energy.

  126. Way to be impartial.

  127. When you're done reading the Mueller Report, you should look up the definition of "opinion."

  128. Not nearly enough criminal charges. Investigate his source for capital. Investigate his criminal past. Investigate his disloyalty as a draft dodger. Investigate his tax liability ...... The investigation may take some time, but this will be useful because it will take the day of reckoning up to the election and his republican supporters will look just as guilty as he is because they are. That is the political solution, vote the republican parasites out of office.

  129. Articles of impeachment against Trump should include the many ways he is lining his pockets with taxpayer money.

  130. This is the article that you write when you realize impeachment is never going to happen.

  131. The democrats made a mistake by solely for the Mueller report, when impeachable offenses were happening in plain sight. Impeach him for conduct unbecoming of the office of the president: repeatedly attacking the free press. Repeatedly criticizing court decisions and questioning the independence of (minority) justices. Sowing seeds of doubt over the legitimacy of America’s elections. Repeatedly calling for the imprisonment of political opponents without any evidence. Openly and repeatedly lying about...well, everything big and small. Not adequately preparing for his daily responsibilities by reading, or listening to, full briefing reports. Not adequately preparing for meetings with foreign leaders, jeopardizing America’s interests. Giving aid and comfort to Neo-Nazis by downplaying their presence in Charlottesville. For not following the advice of his intelligence community, repeatedly criticizing them, and choosing instead to take the word of authoritarians. For giving aid, comfort, and legitimacy to authoritarian leaders in Russia, North Korea, and Turkey. Oh, but the tax cuts and Supreme Court justices.

  132. Just three?

  133. Sorry Dems, get over it. If Mueller had anything real it would have come out already. I'm sorry your leadership should you on the fantasy that the Mueller report was the panacea for the election Hillary lost.

  134. What a waste of time. Fantasizing about impeachment is about as useful as fantasizing about winning the lottery.

  135. Brilliant work! Please circulate widely and quickly!

  136. Those past articles of impeachment have never resulted in a conviction and removal. Why repeat a failed strategy? They might have convicted Nixon, but he resigned before they had the chance. I doubt Trump would do the same.

  137. The fear that impeachment will work to Trump’s advantage—and damage Democrats—by making him “a martyr” is based on a misreading of both recent history and the current political environment. The popular view is that Republicans were punished at the polls for impeaching Bill Clinton—but while it is true that they lost a number of House seats in 1998, they were still able to retain their majority. Within two years, they also controlled the White House; within four years, the Senate. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR, punishment should be made of sterner stuff. As to the present, we know that nothing will change the minds of Trump’s hard-core supporters, who already believe that he is being unfairly “persecuted.” But they represent, at most, about 40 percent of the electorate. Can we really believe that a great mass of independents, “moderate” Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans will rally to his side should he be impeached? Especially when impeachment will follow months of hearings in which proof of his misdeeds is laid out in minute detail?

  138. This important point is consistently overlooked in analysis of the likely acquittal by the Senate. And don't forget that for most of Watergate, the Senate Republicans also seemed unlikely to remove Nixon from office.

  139. America had and still has a compelling need to find out exactly what happened with the Russians. It didn't need to be a "let's get Trump" movement, but it needed to be investigated, and action needed to be taken. The trouble is that Russian interference did help Trump get elected. It might have put him over the top. So naturally he impeded any investigation that might de-legitimize his presidency, whether he participated or not. A person with a moral compass might have said "go for it. If I need to take a hit for the good of the country I've sworn to protect, I'll take my chances." But Trump has no moral compass, so he resisted and obstructed this necessary investigation, making himself look guilty in the process. And the Russians got exactly what they wanted; a country with an existential dilemma and no path forward. They'll be back.

  140. Perhaps you could draft another article of impeachment that details actions to aid and abet Russia's program to manipulate the 2016 election? The campaign knew of suspicious and likely illegal activity and did not report it to the FBI. There are also many examples of public and private encouragement of Russia's effort. Maybe a planned and coordinated conspiracy can't be proven, but failure to report crimes and encouragement of crimes are high crimes and misdemeanors on their own.

  141. The list of other necessary articles of impeachment is a long one and would include that Russian treachery (certainly "collusion," which is not a criminal wrong but is an abuse of authority), payments of hush money apparently in violation of campaign finance law (Individual-1), violations of the Emoluments Clauses, violation of the Constitutional requirement that only Congress appropriate money, violations of the Take Care Clause, violations of the oath of office, and others.

  142. If Trump isn't convicted on all counts, he and his followers will claim 'exoneration'. For this reason alone, the articles of impeachment need to be concise. Once he's out of office, he's still liable for his other crimes.

  143. The author proposed that President Trump should be impeached because Trump like President Nixon has stonewalled subpoenas. Nixon stonewalled subpoenas issued by Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, but he complied when a federal court ordered him to comply. Trump has directed his subordinates not to respond to subpoenas issued by congressional committees on grounds the committee investigations have no legislative purpose. The Supreme Court ruled in Watkins v U.S. that Congress can conduct investigations only to support legislation. The administration argues that the current committee investigations serve no legislative purpose. The subpoena issue is one that should be settled by federal courts. If the courts order Trump to comply and he refused, then Congress would have grounds for impeachment.

  144. No, the advancement of a manifestly baseless argument, a mere pretext (such as the obvious loser about the supposed lack of legislative purpose, when Congress is investigating the most corrupt president) is itself arguably a part of an impeachable abuse of power. It certainly does not require the legislature to wait around for a court and then give Trump a chance to violate the court's order. I find all the huff-and-puff demands for a "legislative purpose" rather strange because 1) they are bogus and 2) they would all go away if there were an impeachment investigation.

  145. Good grief, I've never in my seen so many people obsessively treat what is an actuality a lot of trivial fuss as the most central concern of their existence--as if it was the very top of their hierarchy of needs. I don't think I reflect on my own daily fusses as much as a great number of people reflect on the President's. Move on, folks. Move, move on.

  146. Funny, that's what Putin says, too.

  147. The people behind the capture of our Democracy for a new brand of Oligarchy thank you for your service. When all you have time to worry about is whether you can meet your basic needs this month, it's easy for the people tilting the entire game board off the table to escape your attention. They like people who can only manage to worry about themselves and have no care, concern, or interest in the larger picture. I hear polite neighbors who minded their own business made the best Nazis. It's easy to say "it's not my problem and it doesn't affect me." But that attitude often has dire consequences in the end, even for those "not affected." Presumably you think Democracy is better than not Democracy? Then you should have *some* interest in whether it continues to endure in America in any genuine form.

  148. Please enumerate the ways in which your waking hours have been altered by the outcome of the last election. I've spent years and years abroad in "not Democracy," but nary an hour here. It is built into our laws that the citizen of our country elect a president every four years. We did that. If people are unhappy--and this will inevitably be the case--they have another opportunity to have their political desires and daydreams realized during the next election. Since the night of the election the country, for a variety of reasons, the news cycle being one of them has, had to endure day after day after day after day of "developments" which in a more reasonable, sane era would never have seen a letter of print. The effect of this inundation is a now widely-believed fallacy that we have suddenly been hurtled from some state of political purity. Just please, as requested above, direct me to all of this suffering (self-inflicted excluded) that I might see it and finally come to understand why adults have spent two years of their lives wailing about one temporary and distant figure in their lives.

  149. Donald Trump never wanted or intended to be president and does not take the presidency seriously. If that is not grounds for impeachment it should be. Nancy Pelosi is correct that impeachment without removal will be nothing more than a catharsis. But there is no need for her give comfort to the enemy ("he is not worth it", "friendly subpoenas"). A simple "nothing is off the table" would suffice.

  150. I mostly agree, but impeachment without conviction would be far more than merely cathartic. First, it would result in putting on record all the sniveling cowards in Congress who are content with Trump despite all of his criminal behavor. Second, it would significantly rachet up the pressure on Trump's minions to come clean, since they would be next up for impeachment. Third, it would be recognition of the House's Constitutional responsibility to prosecute Trump for his crimes.

  151. I mostly agree but it would be even better to wait and follow the money. Collusion is and always was the tip of the iceberg. The much more important question is and always was why does Putin want Donald Trump to be president so badly. When that is uncovered then Republicans will have no choice but to jump ship in order to save their own sorry backsides.

  152. The House must impeach, whether or not the Senate convicts. Every day that goes by without articles of impeachment being introduced is one more strike against what used to be a nation of laws. This article presents a good case and a nice roadmap, but it's worth nothing if the House leadership doesn't step up and do its job.

  153. The author says Trump should be impeached because he stonewalled subpoenas, tried to influence witness testimony, lied and attempted to fire Mr. Mueller. The administration says subpoenas issued by congressional committees are invalid because the investigations serve no legislative purpose. It is a matter for federal courts to decide, not cause for impeachment. The Mueller report does not establish that Trump tried to influence witnesses. It does not establish that Trump lied. (Commenters who disagree should cite an instance or instances.) The Mueller report reveals that Trump decided not to replace Mueller due to conflicts of interest because replacing him might have been construed as obstruction. These are the reasons the Justice Department concluded the evidence presented did not support prosecution on grounds of obstruction.

  154. The Mueller Report was written by lawyers for lawyers, consequently, the language is foreign to the mainstream public. It is reported that Mueller's team wrote executive summaries for immediate public release which the public never received. It is possible that the executive summaries were written in the public vernacular so that the public could understand weigh the evidence in a meaningful way. Since none of that ever happened, it is time for the media to engage in an educational effort to explain the findings and the implications for possible conspiracy and for obstruction of justice. The outcome should be that society does not perceive that one man, his cabinet and friends and congress are allowed to behave beyond the rule of laws to which we, the general public are accountable. It is true. Our democracy is at risk and the next election may be the only opportunity to save the democracy as we believe it to be: one man, one vote; a nation guided by the principles of law and order.

  155. Nonsense. The executive summaries are un-redacted parts of the Mueller report that has been released to the public. A small part of the report involves complex legal theory, but overall the report is easy to read.

  156. A great article that clearly and concisely lays out the reasons for the impeachment process to go ahead: "Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States." Those who fret that impeachment will cost Democrats the Presidency are political neurotics and cowards, trading responsibility for expediency.

  157. Well done, Mr. Philbrick! My husband and I have been talking about these similarities for the past year! One problem: there are no "tapes".

  158. Or an underlying crime !

  159. Thank you Ian Prasad Philbrick and The New York Times for doing the work that our elected lawmakers should be doing for us. Hopefully, they will use your cheat sheet (and very cool infographic) and move forward with impeachment proceedings if they can find become vertebrates.

  160. An excellent Introduction. The completed version would be volumes. His Obstruction of Justice should be intertwined with his Abuse of Power. His utilization of Fox News, Hannity & Ingraham were & are to obstruct justice through his Abuse of Power to influence the public& fellow republicans. Obstruction and lying of facts through collusion with Fox and anchors and use of conspiracy theories. Additionally, the negligence of the FTC and FCC to step in and stop the spreading of false information of a news organization or that purveying such info. Obstruction & Abuse with co-conspirators in Congress to include Nunes, Dowdy, Gaetz, the Cabinet & Barr-- all requiring impeachment. Just the beginning: Abuse of all Article II duties and Abuse of All Article I Duties he has taken or thinks he has that Congress sits & does nothing. Walking out of Agreements & Treaties-- which he just does not have the power to do. All violations of Emoluments. He has Abused his Power in all instances to Impose Tariffs on China, and threaten anywhere else. To send military to the Gulf -- In direct violation of Constitution-- "unless" the US under immediate threat---we don't engage. He is looking & chasing a war with Iran. All criminal engagements under investigation, & the campaign finance violation is a given. Every tweet an abuse of power. Incompetence, Inability & psychological incapacity. Criminal child abuse acts at border. Finally, a pathological liar can not be trusted by a nation.

  161. Guilty as charged on all accounts.

  162. No one no one wants to get rid of this President more than I do. But reading these articles it seems clear that he will weasel out of this. Key factors - payments of money, direct authorization of subordinates to lie - are removed from the Trump impeachment articles. It was those “red-handed” actions that nailed Nixon and Clinton. If they can’t be brought up about Trump, he’s home free. Time to focus on getting out the vote!

  163. the strike out and add text was good for historical comparison, but the animation of the same added little and increased bandwidth consumption making for a SLOWER display.

  164. If this situation were reversed, you can bet the Republicans would've already initiated impeachment proceedings. Two reasons the Republicans regularly win even when the "shouldn't": 1.) They take action, often unified, and supported by their propaganda machines (read as Fox news, Breitbart, etc.) 2.) They put winning over optics Meanwhile, Democrats do not have a unified messaging strategy, are fractured regarding which actions to take vs. not take, and clearly prioritize optics over winning. I'm not saying either approach is right (quite the contrary, both parties are serious screwed up). Just that there's a reason Republicans 'win' in terms of their objectives (think strategies to secure majority of governorships, SCOTUS justices, state level legislative majorities, etc.)

  165. Let's put this in plain English: The Russians wanted to damage and discredit the US. They therefore hacked and stole information and data, created false identities on social media, sowed dissension and mistrust, and supported the candidacy of the person they knew would do the most damage to the US and its alliances: a corrupt buffoon and bull-in-the-china-shop. Said buffoon lied throughout the campaign about his business connections with Russia and then obstructed the investigation into both the Russian crimes and the various connections between his campaign and the Russian government. He continues to do damage to the US and our world alliances every day he is in office, and is degrading and lowering the bar for the conduct and behavior of the head of the executive branch of our federal government. BTW, he has also received and continues to receive "emoluments" from foreign governments, without the constitutionally required permission from Congress, that certainly look for all the world like successful bribes to influence his policy stance on foreign and economic policies. If we let him stay, the damage will continue to worsen.

  166. Yes. Please impeach Trump. #MAGA

  167. We can make America great by impeaching Individual-1. Is that what you meant?

  168. Whenever I watch crime shows or read articles about violent crimes against women, I'm exceedingly impressed when they have evidence of a fierce struggle, indicated by skin under the fingernails of the victim. They fought back. Hard. Democrats should do the same. Fight back. Even if the odds and power are stacked against you, fight with all your might. It's for the survival of our nation. And what about all the victims who fought back and deterred their attackers. We don't hear as much about the survivors . . . because they eluded the ultimate consequence. Wake up America! We're fighting for the life of our Democracy.

  169. I find this article inappropriate. If the Press us supposed to be a neutral reporter of the news, then why are they publishing it. It will do nothing to add lustre to the NYT's already tarnished image (remember that cartoon) and it would be better if these sort of articles did not appear. Yes we all know that the NYT hates Trump, but he is still our President and is owed respect, not a cheering section for his impeachment. Personally I thought OBama should have been impeached for his numerous questionable executive actions. The NYT did nothing but cheer him on. The paper should make an effort to be neutral in controversial issues.

  170. This is an opinion column. Opinion columns in newspapers are as old as journalism itself.

  171. It's marked as 'Opinon'.

  172. The press brought a sitting president down in 1972. Read some history. Look up the names Woodward and Bernstein and a newspaper called The Washington Post. They don't call newspapers the fourth estate for nothing.

  173. They really need to start with impeaching the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury right out of the gate, then Mick Mulvane chief of staff. The very least they could do is be censured. The Republican senate should all go to Walter Reed hospital and get some intestines. They are well short and our country needs their help now by taking back nuclear technology transferred to the Saudis without “advise and consent” so disgraceful and dangerous. Mitch McConnell is evil.

  174. " . . . He hath done much to offend our lords spiritual and temporal . . . ." Seriously, President Trump is not going to be removed from office, and if the House impeaches him it boosts his reelection chances. I hope President Trump is defeated in the next election, under the regular process, whose legitimacy cannot be questioned.

  175. "Trump is defeated in the next election, under the regular process, whose legitimacy cannot be questioned." At this time in US history the whole voting process and its legitimacy are very much in question for all the reasons discussed especially since the 2016 election. Regular process abandoned ship long ago.

  176. I don't understand why so many people seem to think that Trump did not commit a crime. Trump was not exonerated by the Mueller report and there are potentially many other crimes that remain to be investigated. I also don't understand why so many people seem to think that without an underlying crime there can be no obstruction charge. The charge of obstructing a federal investigation is a crime in itself, not dependent on the underlying reason for the obstruction. Finally, I don't understand why people consider the obstruction charges to be weak, when all that is necessary for impeachment is that a majority of the House of Representatives vote for impeachment. But I suppose a majority of representatives in Congress probably do understand this.

  177. No evidence was shown by Mueller for a basis for an indictment of Russian involvement in Trump's victory. Mueller's Delphic comments when he resigned showed a frustration that he was unable to charge Trump with crimes. Not because he was barred by the Justice Department but because he had no hard evidence of a crime. There is plenty of exculpatory evidence to show that no alleged crime can be shown beyond the shadow of a doubt. The NYTs editor is endeavoring for the House to begin a process which will not end in a conviction of Trump. There is another investigation in progress which could show attempts by national security agencies to harm the Trump candidacy and presidency with misuse of the Steele Dossier and leaking information that proved false to new agencies.

  178. We could just as effectively ask the McConnell Minions one simple question: Who or what are you going to believe, Donald Trump, or your lying eyes? There is not a single genuine patriot among the 51 Republicans in the Senate. There are, moreover, 51 craven cowards occupying their desks in the Senate chambers.

  179. Will those Democratic members of Congress, (Feinstein, Leahy, etc.) who were in Congress during the Clinton impeachment now admit that Clinton should have been impeached and removed from office? Will we now hear mea culpas from all of them admitting how they protected a president who obstructed justice in a civil rights case against him brought by one of the many women who was a victim of his sexual predations? Will they now apologize for keeping a credibly accused rapist in power? If not, then even this well-reasoned accusation rings hollow, undermined by the partisan hypocrisy of the Democrats.

  180. Thank you, New York Times researchers and reporters, for doing the long-overdue work of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives for them. Speaker of the House is a coward, and by giving the corrupt, criminal, fascist Republicans everything they want -- she has been doing so ever since the years the court-appointed, frat-boy occupant of the White House, George Bush, Jr. -- she and her Democratic Party colleagues are enabling the destruction of what is left of American democracy. If they do not impeach the criminal Trump, then they will prove once and for all that they were complicit in the destruction of the system of checks and balances, and also of any sense of a justice system.

  181. Curious to see if you will put draft indictments for Hillary Clinton and the insiders in the Obama administration who created a false investigation of a legally elected president.

  182. Congenital swindlers like Donald should skip impeachment and be directly fast forwarded to criminal prosecution.

  183. I thought Dems were saying that Trump was un-democratic... though never said how... But them... bypassing law as you here demand... never.. :))

  184. 1. there was no collusion. ZERO. 2. mueller got everything he wanted. every single thing. nothing was denied him. NOTHING. 3. barking and threatening and trying to impede an investigation... that he knows and is proven to be is 100% false....hat's what we are impeaching trump for?? when bill clinton got caught and lied about monica lewisnsky--that's worth impeaching him?? really? umm..can we get serious already and get back to reality? has everyone become rachel maddow?? good lord. trump derangement syndrome. impeach impeach impeach from day one.

  185. Some people seem to believe that facts of a case are adduced at trial. That simply is not the case. Any lawyer that proceeded to trial without first knowing all of the knowable facts would be guilty of malpractice. This article makes clear that a lot of facts are still unknown--particularly with respect to Russian influence on this president. We can blame Congress (for most of this time Republican) for that. Mueller's charge was limited to campaign interference, but I suspect there's a lot more--especially with respect to Individual 1's 'business' ventures. I hate to counsel patience. I do believe that impeachment should proceed with all due haste; for every minute of delay, our nation is at risk. But certain steps, particularly with respect to investigation, cannot be ignored.

  186. The only way to get a full congressional investigation with the Constitution requires of congress may be impeachment. Then we might get a hell of a lot more facts via Hope Hicks, McGahn, and a few others. The point: the President has stymied Congress's attempts to gather facts, and he has done so ILLEGALLY. In one case, he has been ordered by the courts, and he has ignored not only the legislative branch but the judicial branch of government. These actions by the President BREAK THE LAW! This is not a Democrat/Republican thing (or shouldn't be). It is the fight to preserve our democracy. Right, now it is going up in flames.

  187. The NY Times is not part of the solution; it is part of the problem. So, yeah, okay, the country is falling apart. Republican policies, with which the Democrats are complicit, explain this. The things being done by this government are horrendous. One need only observe that wealth is a stratified now as it was in the late 1920's, and we know how that turned out. Holy smokes. Look around. People are living in tents, defecating on streets. Rats are everywhere, and the bubonic Plague has resurfaced. And the first answer the bright folks in the NY Times editorial office offer is that Trump should be impeached? Is this a satire, or are we meant to take this as serious journalism?

  188. There are two additional articles: 1) Violating election laws and influencing the 2016 presidential election by entering into a non-disclosure agreement with a pornographic film star in order to hide your adulterous liaison with her from the American people. 2) [This is the most important one of all.] Ignoring, denying, and failing to act upon valid information from all U.S. intelligence agencies that a hostile foreign power has attacked, and plans to attack again, the U.S. election apparatus, in violation of your oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" the United States and its constitution.

  189. Wow! Thank you authors of this side by side comparison and contrast of the Nixon Articles against what Trump Articles could look like! And after further investigation, I am sure Trump Articles will only become longer. Speaker Pelosi, are you reading?

  190. First, I can write ten more articles of impeachment by lunchtime. Three seems a paltry sum. Second: Censure Barr and Mnuchin, Impeach Barr and Mnuchin, and then, IF Bonespurs by chance 'wins' in 2020, impeach him as well. Hopefully, won't be necessary. Third: Get Flynn and the rest of them INTO JAIL, and publicize it along with publicizing the exact content of Mueller's report. Convince the American people so we have a 45-state sweep in 2020. Fourth: force Price and Carson and Zinke and all the other criminals in the cabinet to pay back the money they stole.

  191. When I was younger I was a pot smoker. Smoked it 1000s of times over 25 years. It was illegal the entire time. Only got busted once. I gotta laugh at Republicans trying to suggest because Trump didn't get caught he didn't do anything illegal.

  192. It's been 49+ years for me, JimmySerious, and I still haven't been busted. So, I must be as innocent as a newborn babe.

  193. Initially, I believed that this country would look at the evidence in the Mueller report and take that evidence in the context of Trump's daily actions and decide that he has engaged in conduct that make him unfit to be president. But after these many months of Republican Senators refusing to stand up to him, I believe that, if impeached, he will not be convicted in the Senate. As a result, he would be strengthened by impeachment and more likely to be re-elected. If re-elected, he will be more emboldened to engage in his ignorant, anti-democratic behavior and further damage our institutions and the rule of law. Further, it would put us ordinary folks further and further behind, in our economic well-being and in our pursuit of the common good.

  194. From the CNN poll " Based on what you have read or heard, do you believe that President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, or don't you feel that way?" Phrased this way the process of impeachment is equivalent to removal from office. That is not how it works. If people are unable to discern the difference between an impeachment inquiry producing relevant facts of wrongdoing, the development of articles of impeachment, referral of the articles to the senate, followed by trial and conviction by the Senate. Stated this way the question asks simply - "Do you believe President Trump should be removed from office?" That's a question that requires a determination of guilt without further fact-finding and trial. That's a loaded questions. How about the question "Do you believe President Trump has done anything corrupt or against the interests of the United States?"

  195. This is certainly a 'reality rub in', to the alternative universe Trump fans are used to. Yet, there are some missing components that more than likely would be included, as our 'so-called' president has never really attempted to be president for ALL Americans or run the government of the people, by the people, for all people in America. He has catered exclusively to his base in everything, even giving sound bites for Fox that willfully deceive their audience into believing things that are NOT true. There needs to be some attention to Campaign Finance Violations and Emoluments. Not to mention his illegitimate candidacy based on lies about himself (success in business), his work (I have no deals with Russia.) and others (Hillary Clinton should be locked up.) Then, there needs to be some reckoning with his dealings with foreign adversaries (Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.) and his loyalty to them despite their intervention in our elections and killing of our journalist, while at the same time undermining our alliances with democracies that have stood by us and for us in times of national peril (after 9/11) and with wars to rid the world of terrorists that seek to kill and harm innocent lives. What about his siding with Putin over our own intelligence? What about attacking businesses and leaders who oppose him, using his power as president to do them harm? Is there no article of impeachment for choosing to be ill informed and neglecting his duties as to our national security?

  196. What prevents articles of impeachment from being put forth today? Do any members of Congress, Democrat, Independent, or Republican, feel secure enough in their jobs to oppose impeachment? They shoudn't.

  197. One of the impeachable offenses not mentioned in this article was Trump's attempt to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger -- and the man who first pointed this out was none other than William Barr. In an affidavid delivered in December 2018, Barr, who owned a lot of Time Warner stock and was all in favor of the merger, declared that Trump ordered the Justice Department's Antitrust Division to oppose the deal because of his "animus" toward CNN. "Many would understandably question whether the (Antitrust Division) had a genuine basis for bringing this enforcement action or instead was acting to serve a political end. I agreed with that view and I agree with it now." That, of course, was when Barr was still a highly respected former attorney general, devoted to the rule of law, before he became another of Trump's sycophants and abandoned all his principles.

  198. An excellent first draft. Thank you, NY Times for initiating what Congress has so far failed to take up. Charges should also include that Trump, preoccupied with appeasing his narrow base, has at no time made an overarching objective of his presidency to “promote the general welfare.” Which is to say, to be president of all the people all the time. Instead he has confused lawful forms of civic opposition with would-be enemies of the state, failing to abide by the first principle of democratic government that grants respect for a citizenry presumed innocent, insofar as “we the people” are sovereign. Further, Trump has abused power by a perverse pattern of exclusively appointing as cabinet officers and other high-level officials such criminally inclined individuals who expressly seek to undermine the very purpose of their departments and agencies. So in such subversive manner has Donald Trump failed to exercise the reasonable and benign judgment worthy of a democratic leader of our constitutional republic, nor has he seen fit to faithfully execute the laws of the land to the extent that his actions “promote justice and ensure domestic tranquillity.”

  199. I don't understand why this article doesn't mention the campaign finance violations and money laundering charges that Michael Cohen was found guilty of in New York. If Cohen is guilty, then Trump must be guilty. Trump supplied the money to reimburse and compensate Cohen for paying off Stormy Daniels. The payments were disguised as fees for legal work and continued into his presidency. These are clear violations of federal law, so why not charge them? If the House Judiciary committee really does some thorough investigative work I think they can also establish he is a tax cheat. The statue of limitations may mean the tax violations can't be criminally charged, but impeachment is not a criminal proceeding and is not subject to those legal limitations.

  200. Cohen plead guilty. It is not clear at all that he would have been found guilty. Even less clear that Trump would be found guilty