Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin has asserted that President Donald Trump can and should be impeached solely because of his public statements. Rubin, citing analysis by former White House counsel Bob Bauer of the Obama administration, argued that the Founding Fathers would have impeached Trump for "demagoguery."
On Oct. 11, Trump took to social media to blast NBC News' reporting. The president suggested that the network should lose its broadcasting license, Politico reports.
"Fake [NBC News] made up a story ... With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?" Trump tweeted out.
The president subsequently told reporters at the White House: "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write."
Rubin, who writes the "Right Turn" blog, blasted Trump's comments as "a sustained attack on the press and the concept of a free press."
"That's not merely outrageous and indefensible; it is, I would argue, one of many instances in which Trump's words reveal an inability to carry out his oath of office," Rubin wrote in an editorial for The Washington Post.
The columnist referenced an essay by Bauer, which outlined his case for a president to be impeached for their words and not just demonstrable actions. Bauer asserted that the Founding Fathers considered demagogic speech to be an impeachable offense.
"In Federalist No. 65, [Alexander Hamilton] defines an impeachable offense as one that inflicts 'political' injury on a democratic society ... Trump's speech in office, much of it delivered in 140 characters to millions, is extremely and consistently loose with truth, often outrightly false, and contemptuous of institutions, including courts of law," Bauer wrote in LawFare.
The former White House counsel asserted that former President Richard Nixon's resignation had established a precedent for Congress to remove an executive from office based on their speech.
"The House Judiciary Committee approved an article of impeachment citing Nixon's publicly stated falsehoods about the Watergate break-in and his actions to investigate it, as violations of his constitutional oath to take care to faithfully execute the laws and his office," Bauer wrote.
Rubin accused Trump of engaging in demagogic behavior with his public statements. The conservative columnist asserted that the president's call for NBC to lose its broadcasting license indicated that he was "morphing into an authoritarian who imagines he is unencumbered by the law."
Rubin concluded "there is little doubt that [Trump] is precisely the sort of person whom the Founding Fathers had in mind when they included the impeachment clause."