To the editor:

The hammer has finally dropped. An impeachment inquiry has begun against the criminal enterprise that is the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump has been caught red-handed not only committing treason by explicitly asking a foreign power to interfere in our elections but doing it via extortion worthy of organized crime.

To make the strongest possible case, it is imperative that the various House committees investigate not just his pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on his opponents and the associated cover-up attempt but all of his crimes, including:

— Asking Russia to provide dirt on his opponent in the 2016 presidential election;

— The 10 counts of obstruction of justice cited in the Mueller report;

— Violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, by encouraging foreign officials to stay at his hotels and golf clubs;

— Profiting at taxpayer expense by having the Secret Service and other support resources stay at his hotels and golf clubs, and paying for their rooms;

— Siting a military refueling base right next to his golf club in Ireland;

— Illegally diverting funds from military readiness and veterans benefits to build his border wall; and

— Divulging state secrets to foreign officials.

Trump and members of his administration should also be held in contempt of Congress for any stonewalling they do in refusing to submit requested documents or to testify when called. Sadly, that will likely not go anywhere since it must be enforced by the attorney general, who serves Trump and not the rule of law.

Of course, the Republican and right-wing media spin machines that enable his abuses are already running at full speed, but even they cannot put lipstick on this pig.

Trump’s base will be undeterred and believe the spin rather than the facts; just as they have believed more than 16,000 lies he's told since in office and the thousands more told during his campaign.

It is likely that the process will end in the House because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republican leadership will never allow it to be tried (obstruction of justice in its own right).

Even so, it is important that the full facts be laid out before the American public so that they can fully understand what a criminal Trump really is.

Michael Bleiweiss

Methuen

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