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Every day, as Donald Trump's coronation on January 20 becomes closer, the worse it looks. He has most likely been compromised, or worse, co-opted by Putin, and he is picking a fight with a country 4.5 times larger than the U.S., armed with nuclear weapons: China. His nominees and appointments to important government positions appear to be aimed at bringing into the federal government the worst possible people, whose principal aims are to destroy the departments, agencies and policies they would ostensibly be called upon to administer.

impeaching trump

Will Donald Kill Us All?—Ted Vaill

There is a lot of hand wringing by Democrats over the result of the election, and Hillary and Bill seemed to have retreated to Chappaqua, content to retire from the scene and fade away, as losers often do. Where is the fire, the indignation over being cheated out of the Presidency by a ruthless dictator in training?

Donald Trump is of German heritage, and his first wife Ivana stated during their divorce proceedings that he had a book of Hitler's speeches by his bedside. As President, will he try to do what Hitler did during his first year in power, and severely curtail the freedoms of his citizens? What will Trump's Reichstag fire be that will allow him to do this in America?

Recall that George W. Bush, after ignoring the intelligence briefings in August, 2001 that bin Laden was about to strike the U.S., was asleep at the switch on 9/11 when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers. What resulted from this tragedy? There was a rallying behind our beleaguered President, and the passage of the Patriot Act, which stripped away some of our freedoms. This was our most recent Reichstag fire.

It would not be surprising if such terrorist attacks happened on his watch, as he would be ignoring the entire American intelligence apparatus created to warn him of such attacks.

What will Trump do to create the disaster that will allow him to strip away our freedoms? Will there be multiple terrorist bombings in American cities, stimulated by his escalating attacks on ISIS, that will lead to Trump declaring martial law throughout the U.S., allowing him to do this? Will the Marine Generals whom he has nominated to run the Homeland Security and Defense Departments, coordinated by Trump's rabid Marine General National Security Advisor, be ordered by Trump to implement this martial law strategy?

Trump has said that he does not need to take daily national security briefings because he is "a smart person". So it would not be surprising if such terrorist attacks happened on his watch, as he would be ignoring the entire American intelligence apparatus created to warn him of such attacks. But if he let such attacks happen, it would feed into his desire to grab more power and strip away more of our freedoms.

What to do?

Here are the possible solutions:

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1. Follow the strategy laid out in my latest LA Progressive articles - get Jill Stein to "donate" her votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to Hillary, which would mean that Hillary would win those states and enough electoral votes to beat Trump, if upheld by the Supreme Court. See my latest article in LAProgressive.com, "Will Russian Bombshell Derail Trump Juggernaut."

2. Encourage the Senate to immediately conduct extensive hearings into the Russian manipulation of the election designed to make sure that Trump would win, followed by President Obama's report to the country about what the 17 American intelligence agencies have concluded about Russia's efforts to elect Trump, and then to throw out the election and have a do over: a reballoting of the Presidential contest. This would be totally unprecedented, and who would run the country while this was being done?

3. Larry Lessig, a Harvard law professor and a Democratic candidate for President for a short time in 2016, has suggested that the winner-take-all nature of Presidential elections in all states but two (Nebraska and Maine) is not provided for in the Constitution and is a violation of the Constitutional equal protection of the laws. This is because it deprives Democratic voters in close elections like Florida in 2000 and Michigan in 2016 of any say in who is elected President. Lessig suggested that a lawsuit might be brought to throw out the election results in 2016 on these grounds. However, it is a little late for that, less than a week before the electors are to meet to cast their votes for President. But Trump is not crowned as President until January 20, 2017, so have at it, guys.

4. Another interesting development is that a number of the Presidential electors, concerned that the Russians may have rigged the election for Trump, have asked that they receive the intelligence briefings from the American intelligence agencies about the Russian involvement in the election before they cast their votes on December 19 in their respective state capitols. Should this request catch on with the electors, it is remotely possible that Trump will not receive a majority of the electoral votes and will not be elected, or the electors might even coalesce around someone not even nominated for President. It could happen, given the strange nature of the Electoral College: Alexander Hamilton, who conceived the idea, even suggested that if a candidate for President is found to be under the influence of a foreign country, the Electors could switch their votes to someone else.

5. President Obama could ask Trump to withdraw as a candidate for the Presidency before he is inaugurated, as the evidence of his apparent treason becomes known (treason is an impeachable offense under the Constitution), coupled with his failure to divest himself of his businesses, which clearly violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, an additional ground for impeachment. So would Mike Pence then become President?

6. Another option would be to allow Trump to be inaugurated, and then impeach him. Problem #1: the Republicans control both houses of Congress, and may not go along with this process (a majority in the House is needed to impeach; two-thirds is needed in the Senate to convict). Problem #2: Mike Pence would then become President.

7. Assassinate him. However, I lived through the traumatic time of President Kennedy's assassination; I met him the year before he was killed, and was prepared to support him wholeheartedly in 1964. I am sure some radicals in the U.S. are thinking about this, but it must not happen, for the sake of our democracy. And It is still an awful memory for those of us who lived through the Kennedy assassination. Recall that it most likely was a Soviet hit job by one of its operatives, Lee Harvey Oswald, that killed President Kennedy.

Or it could have been a CIA hit job…

The more we see of Trump, and what he will do as President, the more it is evident that he should not be allowed to take office. Hopefully one of the first six strategies above will come to pass to save our democracy, and allow us to survive this unstable tyrant.

ted vaill

Ted Vaill