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_Howard
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PostSubject: Annulment    Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:28 am

Don’t Impeach Trump. Annul His Presidency
- by Robert Reich

The only way I see the end of Trump is if there’s overwhelming evidence he rigged the 2016 election. In which case impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy. His presidency should be annulled.

Let me explain. Many people are convinced we’re already witnessing the beginning of the end of Trump.

In their view, bombshell admissions from Trump insiders with immunity from prosecution, combined with whatever evidence Mueller uncovers about Trump’s obstruction of justice and his aide’s collusion with the Russians, will all tip the scales.

Democrats will take back the House and begin an impeachment, and the evidence of impeachable offenses will put enough pressure on Republican senators to send Trump packing.

I don’t believe this for a moment.

First, the Senate has never in history convicted a president of impeachment.

Second, even if Democrats flip the House in November, Republicans will almost certainly remain in control of the Senate – and so far they’ve displayed the integrity of lizards.

Third, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing sleaze media will continue to distort and cover up whatever the evidence shows – convincing 35 to 40 percent of Americans, along with most Republicans, that Trump is the innocent victim of a plot to remove him.

Finally, Trump himself will never voluntarily resign, as did Nixon. He’ll lie and claim a conspiracy to unseat him.

He’s proven himself a superb conman, an entertainer-demagogue capable of sowing so much confusion and instigating so much hate and paranoia that he has already survived outrages that would have broken any garden-variety loathsome president – Helsinki, Charlottesville, children locked in cages at the border, firings and cover-ups, racist slurs, clear corruption.

In all likelihood, we’ll have him for another two and a half years.

Don’t bet the house on him losing in 2020, either. A malignant bullying megalomaniac who lies like most people breathe, and who’s able to suck the oxygen out of every news cycle, might pulverize any Democratic opponent.

Even if he loses in 2020, we’ll be fortunate if he concedes without being literally carried out of the Oval Office amid the stirrings of civil insurgency.

Oh, and let me remind you that even if he’s impeached, we’d still have his loathsome administration – Pence on down.

But lest you fall into a miasma of gloom, there’s another scenario – unlikely, but entirely possible.

Suppose, just suppose, Robert Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Trump conspired with Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election’s outcome.

In other words, Trump’s presidency is not authorized under the United States Constitution.

Suppose these findings are so compelling that even Trump loyalists desert him, the Republican Party decides it has had enough, and Fox News calls for his impeachment.

What then? Impeachment isn’t enough.

Impeachment would remedy Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But impeachment would not remedy Trump’s unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and Cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency.

The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of an unconstitutional president’s appointments and executive actions, and would eliminate the official record of the presidency.

Annulment would recognize that all such appointments, actions, and records were made without constitutional authority.

The Constitution does not specifically provide for annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitution leads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.

After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesn’t comport with the Constitution null and void, as if it had never been passed.

It would logically follow that the Court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Trump had never been elected.

The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.

As I’ve said, my betting is Trump remains president at least through 2020 – absent compelling and indisputable evidence he rigged the 2016 election.

But if such evidence comes forth, impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy because Trump’s presidency would be constitutionally illegitimate.

It should be annulled.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:12 am

I agree wholeheartedly with Reich, and have said much the same thing.

But it’s also undeniable that to vacate an election has never been done before, much less reversing all of his presidential directives and judge appointments. The result would be a Putin-pleasing catastrophe.

I’m sure Mueller is mulling this over, and is aware that not all remedies are equally possible. We are now so close to the November mid-terms that I don’t really expect him to conclude this year. He’ll wait and see what a new Democratic House can do to rein in the rodeo clown, and maybe in ‘19 or early ‘20 he’ll deliver the coup de grace to the injured president.

If Pence is also indicted, we’ll be looking at a constitutional crisis anyway. The new Speaker of the House will be a Democrat, so that will, for all intents and purposes, remedy the stolen election of 2016.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:21 pm

To follow the Nixon strategy, we need to get rid of Pence first, then Trump.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:45 pm

Before Mueller delivers his final coup de grâce to the president around March (I'm estimating), he will have already indicted:

  • Don Jr.
  • Erik Trump
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Jared Kushner
  • Mike Pence
  • Steve Bannon
  • Michael Cohen
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Reince Priebus
  • Kellyanne Conway
  • George Papdopoulis
  • Stephen Miller
  • Don McGahn
  • Emmet Flood
  • Jay Sekulow
  • and at least a handful of Republican Senators

By then the Senate will have NO ALTERNATIVE but to approve, by a third-thirds majority, president Trump's impeachment -- if he doesn't step down willingly first.

Which he won't do, because the #3 in line will be Jim Clyburn.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:53 pm

Number three in succession is Orrin Hatch.

Where the hell did you get Jim Clyburn? They would have to bomb the White House, the Senate and the House, killing nearly everyone else.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:15 pm

Speaker of the House comes before President Pro Tempore of the Senate.  

After the 11/18 mid-terms, Democrats will hold a substantial majority in the House but there will also be a record number of freshmen, women, and people of color.  Pelosi will not be re-elected as Speaker.

Odds-on favorite for that position, as of today, is Clyburn.
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PostSubject: Re: Annulment    Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:21 pm

I would suggest that you don't place any big-money bets on that happening.
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