Reviewed 11/08/2018

The Constitution Demands It, by Fein, Bonifaz, & Clements

The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump
Ron Fein, John Bonifaz, & Ben Clements
John Nichols (Fwd.)
Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, August 2018




ISBN-13 978-1-61219-763-0
ISBN-10 1-61219-763-9 183pp. SC $16.99

Is there evidence to impeach Trump?

"Impeachment is not a constitutional crisis.

Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis.

Like any antidote, it must be employed judiciously. When the crisis arises, however, patriots cannot be cautious about utilizing the strong medicine that was conjured in the summer of 1787 by the authors of a constitution that was written with an eye toward averting the elected despotism of a president who might conspire to make himself 'a king for four years.' "

The words above come from the Foreword by John Nichols. They represent a salutary reminder for those who shrink from the prospect of impeachment. At the same time, hasty action must be avoided. First, an ironclad case must be built. Only then can the persuasion — or it may be horse-trading — begin.

The authors have assembled a well organized and closely reasoned analysis of what we know today about Trump's misconduct in the Oval Office. As the Table of Contents shows, they organize their case around eight sorts of activity:

To answer the question that leads off this review, I think there is evidence. But it does not rise to the requisite level of "high crimes and misdemeanors." The authors present some elements I was not aware of, such as the possibility that there may have been a quid pro quo1 for the anti-tank missiles sold to Ukraine (see pp. 129-130.) Moreover, they point out that individual acts which are merely troubling may together form a pattern of dangerous abuse.

The book lacks an index, but it has extensive endnotes and a Selected Bibliography. I give it full marks and consider it a must-read. In fact, if you can read only one book on the Trump debacle, this should be the one.

1 The month of the sale, Ukraine stopped cooperating with Robert Mueller's investigation.
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