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Is sexual assault an impeachable offense?

Image result for image trump sexual assault  I have been wondering about a particular issue ever since Mr. trump became president.

Here is an article written by Megan Barber writing for The Atlantic about the issue I speak of.

“To watch the public impeachment hearings of Donald Trump is to experience a very particular form of whiplash. The House inquiry has featured a series of collisions, between Democrats and Republicans, yes, but also between accountability and its opposite. Here is a proceeding led in part by lawmakers who have, when it comes to the president, repeatedly prioritized fealty over facts. And here is the key question at hand—did Donald Trump extort a U.S. ally for his own political gain?—chafing against the other questionable matters not being addressed in the hearing: the reported frauds, the well-documented lies, the atmospheric fact of Trump’s bigotries. The precision guiding the House inquiry—bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors—is constitutionally mandated; it is a proportional response. Watching it play out, however, is a little like watching Hannibal Lecter getting tried for tax evasion.

Here is another matter left largely unaccounted for in the proceedings: Donald Trump, currently accused of bribery, has also been accused of rape. He has been accused of other forms of sexual misconduct as well, by more than 20 women, their allegations ranging from kissing to groping and grabbing, all against their will. If you include allegations of nonphysical forms of sexual harassment, the number of accusers grows even larger. The president has, in reply to these claims, issued a blanket denial: The people making accusations against him, he has said, are lying. (That list includes, ostensibly, Donald Trump himself, who has made his own claims about assaulting women: “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”)

It is easy, in the impeachment hearings’ tumult—the testimonies, the twists, the history made in real time—to ignore those accusations. They are not, after all, a direct element of the inquiry. They are not among the alleged crimes that the House of Representatives has determined to be impeachable. A constellation of reasons, constitutional and political and cultural, explains why the impeachment inquiry is unfolding as it is—at this moment, rooted in this one particular incident of alleged abuse of power. It is nonetheless a sobering thing, to watch the hearings for the one alleged crime play out while the other alleged crimes are, effectively, ignored.

One function of presidential impeachment hearings, my colleague Yoni Appelbaum wrote in a rich and prescient essay earlier this year, is their ability to convene public attention. Americans are constitutionally distractible; the Constitution, it turns out, offers a way to mitigate that. Impeachment, on top of everything else, is a way of cutting through the noise of rumors and conspiracy theories, putting the truths of a president’s actions to the test and determining what, in presidential leadership, ultimately matters. There is a flip side to that power, though. When the question at hand is whether Trump engaged in an abuse of power with Ukraine, his alleged abuse of power with women becomes less relevant. All the other facts of unfitness—the families seeking refuge, torn apart at the American border; Trump’s insistence that the tragedies of Charlottesville, Virginia, featured “very fine people on both sides”; the bigotry; the cruelty; the offenses both casual and sweeping—get consigned to the background.

One function of presidential impeachment hearings, my colleague Yoni Appelbaum wrote in a rich and prescient essay earlier this year, is their ability to convene public attention. Americans are constitutionally distractible; the Constitution, it turns out, offers a way to mitigate that. Impeachment, on top of everything else, is a way of cutting through the noise of rumors and conspiracy theories, putting the truths of a president’s actions to the test and determining what, in presidential leadership, ultimately matters. There is a flip side to that power, though. When the question at hand is whether Trump engaged in an abuse of power with Ukraine, his alleged abuse of power with women becomes less relevant. All the other facts of unfitness—the families seeking refuge, torn apart at the American border; Trump’s insistence that the tragedies of Charlottesville, Virginia, featured “very fine people on both sides”; the bigotry; the cruelty; the offenses both casual and sweeping—get consigned to the background.” [Source]

Ms. Barber, we can throw a newly appointed Supreme Court Justice in that mix as well.

*Image from bbc.com


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