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Trump's Presidency

Mar-a-Lago Ad on Official Government Website as an Impeachable Offense

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] U [/yt_dropcap]nder the impeachment clause of the US Constitution corruption is part of high crime and misdemeanors for which a US president can be legally impeached. A prime example of corruption is the webpage about Donald Trump’s private club knowingly using government means to enhance his private wealth.

The Mar-a-Lago post is part of a broader analysis of whether and how the executive office is being used to enhance the president’s existing businesses and brands and thus enrich the president now and in the future. The impeachable act of corruption is the use of the tools of government for private gain.

Kellyanne Conway has used the airwaves and her job title to make an endorsement. The webpage uses the resources of the government itself — the State Department’s Share America website and the imprimatur of the U.S. embassies’ diplomatic functions — to promote the club. Memberships prices doubled after Trump was elected. Moreover, he has hosted several foreign leaders there. These acts as bad as they are, are not instances of the use of government resources for private presidential gain.

Imagine that after an investigation, it turned out that the president or someone close to him ordered the post or knew about it and allowed it go forward. The president could credibly claim that the regulation against endorsements doesn’t apply to him, because he’s not an employee under its terms. Trump has made clear that he believes that Congress’s conflict of interest laws don’t apply to him either.

Constitutionally, that wouldn’t be the end of the matter — far from it. Congress has the authority and the responsibility to consider presidential conflict of interest when crafting articles of impeachment and deciding to bring them against a sitting president.

These are classic “high crimes” — “high” in the sense that they relate directly to the president’s misuse of his own high office. That’s the historical meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a phrase that the framers of the Constitution took from English constitutional tradition and the impeachments undertaken by Parliament against royal officials.

The rule of law takes centuries to build but it can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. When it comes to a president busy eroding it and the traditions around it, criminal laws are not the constitutional answer. The answer is impeachment and it is Congress’ duty to initiate and implement it.

Professor Paparella has earned a Ph.D. in Italian Humanism, with a dissertation on the philosopher of history Giambattista Vico, from Yale University. He is a scholar interested in current relevant philosophical, political and cultural issues; the author of numerous essays and books on the EU cultural identity among which A New Europe in search of its Soul, and Europa: An Idea and a Journey. Presently he teaches philosophy and humanities at Barry University, Miami, Florida. He is a prolific writer and has written hundreds of essays for both traditional academic and on-line magazines among which Metanexus and Ovi. One of his current works in progress is a book dealing with the issue of cultural identity within the phenomenon of “the neo-immigrant” exhibited by an international global economy strong on positivism and utilitarianism and weak on humanism and ideals.

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Trump's Presidency

Comey treated in Thuggish Mafia Style by the White House

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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Former FBI Director James Comey is furious at the lack of respect the White House has showed him by the way he was fired, worthy of a Mafia operation, sources confirm.

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Trump's Presidency

Trump’s Dumb Ideas for Economic Growth

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] I [/yt_dropcap]f there’s an economic idea that Donald Trump and his economic advisers continually reiterate it is that slashing taxes inevitably leads to economic growth. Let’s see how true this idea is.

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Trump's Presidency

The Demeaning of the Office of the President

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] C [/yt_dropcap]NN has recetnly reported that President Trump’s latest anti-media attacks “are beneath the dignity of the office of the President.” In an interview with Time magazine, Trump insulted CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon and criticized MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. He also called CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert a “no-talent guy.”

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