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Robert Reich: We’re Living a Constitutional Crisis


I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller,
we’ll face a “constitutional crisis.” Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and
Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a “constitutional crisis”. Or if Mueller delivers substantial evidence
that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice, and the House does
nothing to impeach him, we have a “constitutional crisis.” Well, I have news for you. We’re already in a “constitutional crisis”. You see, the Constitution is a tiny document. It requires that presidents and others in
positions of power be bound by norms, unwritten rules, and long-established understandings
of their constitutional responsibilities. Yet look at what’s happened since January
2017: Trump fires the head of the FBI and conjures
up a plot that the FBI installed a spy in his campaign. He blames the entire Mueller investigation
on a conspiratorial “deep state” that’s out to remove him from office. He uses pardons to demonstrate to people already
under investigation that they don’t need to cooperate because he can pardon them, too. He and his lawyers say he has the absolute
right to pardon himself and could thereby immunize himself from any outcome. He asserts that the appointment of the special
counsel was unconstitutional, and that he has the power under the Constitution to end
the investigation whenever he wants. Beyond this, he, berates judges who disagree with him, intelligence agencies who don’t do his bidding and journalists and news organizations that criticize him. He uses the presidency like a personal fiefdom
to enrich himself and his family. He unilaterally breaks treaties, starts trade
wars with long-standing allies, and cozies up to some of the most murderous dictators
in the world. And he treats Americans who didn’t vote for
him and disapprove of him as his enemies, tweets and holds rallies with his followers
that fuel division and hate. There’s no exact definition of a constitutional
crisis. Presumably, it is when the United States Constitution
is in crisis. And it is in crisis now, today, because the
president of the United States is abusing it to entrench his power. As long as he can get away with it, as long
as Republicans who control Congress won’t stand up to him, as long as Americans who
oppose this have no capacity to stop him even though they may be in the majority, this rogue
president will do more and more damage to our system of government. And the constitutional crisis will worsen. A malignant megalomaniac facing no countervailing
power will continue to expand his terrain until he is stopped. The best response is to vote for a Congress
this November that will constrain him. And then, in November 2020, vote him and his
regime out of office. If he refuses to accept the results of that
election, as he threatened to do if he lost the 2016 election, I will totally accept the results if I win. he must be removed from office. What do you think? How would you describe a constitutional crisis? Let us know in the comments. If you’re wondering how we ended up with Trump in the first place, be sure to watch our video on “How We Got Into This Mess”. And as always, make sure to subscribe to this channel for more videos like this one.

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