first posted May 2017, updated 11/11/17 and 4/6/19
Impeachment is a difficult process. But no man is above the law and the country does need to know it’s interests not being sold out for a buck. This presents a shortcut that could be as effective politically as an impeachment. And if Congress agrees it could happen quickly.
We are in a ridiculously dangerous situation as a free nation. The Russian hack of the 2016 election is now our largest national security emergency and all signs are that it will morph like a virus and re-occur in 2020 because Trump, the very same person helped by the Russians, has done nothing to prevent it. Donald Trump and his inner circle of cronies and grifters continue to distract, deny and get caught in lies whenever Russian connections are brought up.
And now Trump won’t show his taxes. Why? Trump’s taxes will not only reveal the nature of his financial dealings with Russia for the last 6 years, they will reveal any other forms of cheating or gaming the system. He is already suspected of tax evasion to the tune of 500 million dollars, starting as far back as the 1980’s. This seems to be the only logical reason he won’t willingly show his taxes. His taxes would answer questions we need to be certain that Trump is not engaging in corruption, tax evasion, self-dealing and/or traitorous behavior. He may even be using the presidential powers to ramp up his corruption. There’s so much we don’t know – and won’t know – until we have his taxes.
- Did Trump directly or indirectly pay Russians to hack our election?
- Does he owe Russians money?
- Is he trying to square a debt?
- Does Trump have dealings with any foreign countries that hold sway over our national security decisions?
- Why did we sell Saudi Arabia our nuclear secrets?
- Why does his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have security clearance in spite of warnings from seasoned security experts?
This is now way past the point of a crisis. The Trump presidency is our #1 national security emergency and he knows this better than anyone. So what does Trump do? He constantly creates fake national emergencies – like “the wall”, the need for tariffs or the healthcare crisis to distract from the real crisis, which is his presidency.
Is Trump an honest man doing his best for Americans? That is the question.
Every day we proceed without knowing that, is another downright dangerous day for our country. We don’t know a thing about what Trump is really doing for or to our national security. How do we know these Chinese Mar-a-lago spies did not get help from the inside? Maybe Trump wanted to create yet another emergency and we were all just saved by the Secret Service. One thumb drive could have reported our national security strategy to the Chinese. Aside from the Civil War and the two world wars American democracy has never been in such risk. And it’s just dumb to let one man do this to us.
One thing is certain. Trump has not done all he can to be truthful, cooperative and helpful to the American people and that is a form of obstructing justice. Has Trump engaged in activities which, if done by any other citizen except the POTUS, would be indictable criminal behaviors? Is he paying people ( like Barr and Kavanaugh ) into our judicial system that will rule in favor of him regardless of our laws and security issues? If Trump is innocent of crimes, he would happily show his taxes – and put all the suspicion behind him. So his refusal to cooperate only adds to our collective suspicion.
And it is also certain that Congress has the right and the duty to be a check on presidential power. In order to do that task, the POTUS must be transparent and cooperative. IF POTUS will not be transparent – and this one won’t – that increases both the risk and the power of Congress to seize things like taxes and translator’s notes, etc.
Only 32% of Americans think Trump is honest according to a Quinnipiac poll. All Americans participated in that poll – both sides. We are not stupid!
Remember this: Destroying the USA is a Putin Goal – and Trump likes the guy!
And it gets worse. Every day Trump is in office, we are spending countless millions of taxpayer dollars – not to make healthcare better, not to make infrastructure better and not dealing with our real issues. Every day he has been in office – since day one – we have been wasting our energies and taxpayer dollars guarding his many homes, paying for his golf, paying our congressmen to squabble, fighting among ourselves and addressing the many indicted criminals and spies in his orbit. The endless discussions proceed ad nauseum for all Americans. Except for Trump. Trump loves watching others suffer and rigging his created fights.
The divisiveness in the US has begun to wear on us. We can hear the citizens in the Midwest starting to speak up about Trump. We hear “let’s reach across the aisle” . So if the GOP Congressmen are mostly sold out, I don’t think they speak for their constituency any more. And that is huge. It may be all that matters in 2020. But we can’t proceed with only hope. Trump is working every day to dash our hopes.
So what do we do about our situation? Waiting for Trump to do anything against his own interests is a fool’s game. Donald Trump is good at two things: doing crimes legally and conning or lying to people. So I have created a simple plan of action that Congress – even the GOP- has an incentive to put in place.
Two Presidential Powers Must Be Taken Away from Trump
In the interest of national security and in lieu of the long process of impeachment – until Donald Trump complies with existing law and shows his taxes our elected representatives should remove two of his presidential powers:
- The power to declare war, shall reside solely with the Congress until we know “what the heck is going on” ( as he would say). Our current Congress may actually like this idea. They get war powers. And they are supposed to have that power anyway. Why should it reside with one man who is under so much suspicion?
- The power to pardon anyone connected to Trump, the Trump Organization or Campaign. Even the GOP Congressmen know how unpopular pardoning folks like Manafort and Stone would be with the GOP constituencies. And it’s ridiculous to allow anyone to pardon the accomplices in one’s own crimes.
These two arrested powers status can immediately stop when he discloses his taxes going back 6 years as the law prescribes, assuming we don’t discover more disturbing corruption.
Polls also show tax-paying Americans overwhelmingly want the truth about Trump’s taxes. They also want to know what actually happened in the 2016 election with the Russians. They want the Mueller report to be fully released. Representatives swear to uphold the law and do what their electorate wants. So what would be the hold up?
Trump asks our sons to risk dying for our country. What will he risk? So far nothing. Our presidents owe us transparency. If he won’t do this small thing (show his taxes) to save us all time, money, energy and trouble, then it will be clear to nearly everyone that Trump has no loyalty except to himself. And that is not the role of the POTUS.
On Thursday, the House should and advance this idea and vote on it if his taxes are not revealed on Wednesday according to the law. Trump has already asked the head of the IRS, who he put in power, to violate the law. Putting people in power who are suborned is part of his metastatic death to American institutions plan. It’s also how Putin took over Russia and became president for life – something Trump has said would be a good thing. Good for him – is the only “good thing” he knows or cares about.
If Trump won’t show his taxes, he is breaking the law. We don’t want a criminal POTUS. So we should ask for two of his powers to be arrested until he does. About 60% of Americans will agree with that. That’s a real mandate. It can be that simple.
Trump’s taxes are the one thing he has refused to show all along. It’s damning. It is clearly an effort to hide his past sins and dirt. What else could it be?
House members, this is for you to start. 2019 is the crucial year for American democracy. If you wait for 2020 and hope for our laws to bail us out it will be too late. It’s like waiting too late to treat cancer. Trump has already gone metastatic. He has put people ( cells ) in place in the armed forces, the voting systems and the judicial systems. Metastatic. They are paid to be loyal to him – not to America. If we allow government employees to have undeclared foreign bank accounts this sort of corruption will continue. That’s for another post.
Trump has already shown us that creating an international crisis to suspend the constitution and declare martial law – is not out of his playbook. Like a cornered rat fighting for his life, Trump will stop at nothing to save his ill-gotten fortune. We don’t want to wait and find out how far he will go. Trump will go all the way – to the guns! He has not quit button and no shame. That’s really why we must take away his power to make war and pardon his friends. Trump must be forced to be open and honest for the first time in his life or certain pivotal powers must cease or be arrested.
This plan will sell well to the public. It can be advanced with an easy to digest sound byte. The polls show Americans don’t trust Trump and want to see his taxes and the Mueller report. It even makes sense to people who think his taxes and the Mueller report will show he is actually innocent. This plan will make sense to almost everyone in America except the five Trumps: Donald, Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Jared Kushner – because they know the full truth. I don’t even count Melania. She’ll be happy when this is all over.
For two years Americans have waited for the Mueller report because we wanted to give our POTUS the benefit of the doubt with respect to all the suspicion. We wanted to be sure. But when Trump told the IRS chief to disregard written law – he broke the law right then. That’s like running a red light. We don’t have to wait for a guilty verdict or the Supreme Court. The mandate for “show your taxes or have two of your powers arrested” – could be overwhelming. Why can’t we do this?
The other smart option going forward is for Congress to create a law that says no one can serve as POTUS (or in Congress) without showing 6 years of taxes. So he’d have to not run in 2020 or show his taxes. I think he’d rather step down. I also think the GOP would like and actually needs another candidate like Romney to run. Trump has destroyed the GOP and they know that.
relevant previous posts
About the Author:
A cyber war is a war of words. Our writers, reporters, techs and artists become our warriors in a cyber war. Raise Our Voices!
Joseph Aronesty graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He earned a merit scholarship to Wharton School but transferred to liberal arts in his junior year to focus on history, literature and music theory. He was in a class at Wharton with Donald Trump in 1967: International Finance. Trump paid for his homework to get done in that class.
When the internet became viable in 1995, Mr. Aronesty created what is arguably is the world’s first click and buy e-commerce website.
Joseph is also a published songwriter, with hundreds of songs in his catalog. He now writes with musicians in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. He is an activist and his songs often reflect his political point of view.