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Donald Trump & Co.

Are Trump's Wiretap Tweets an Impeachable Offense?

March 9, 2017

[Photo: Trump and Obama during happier times / Wikimedia Commons]


A common thread of conversation around many dinner tables is the question of whether Donald Trump will make it through his full term in office - let alone his first year. While insults and innuendos have become the norm in this administration, and unfortunately throughout the country, these disingenuous rantings and raves don't seem serious enough to cross legal boundaries. But what about Mr. Trump’s latest tweets about wiretaps, which reportedly were based on reports appearing on Breitbart news.


Over the past week, President Trump accused his predecessor, President Obama, of ordering a wiretap of his phones during the presidential campaign – something that, if it were true, would be comparable to the 1970s Watergate scandal. And yes, Trump even threw that connection into his Twitter mix.


No proof has yet been offered and the White House has been quiet of late on the matter. Nevertheless, the accusation cannot be retracted at this point in time. And, if it is determined – as is likely to be the case – that the accusation (or should we say allegation) is not true and unsupported by evidence, then we may have a scandal of major proportions on our hands.


According to Bloomberg columnist Noah Feldman – a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard – it would be a mistake to say simply that Trump’s accusation against Obama is protected by the First Amendment.


False and defamatory speech isn’t protected by the First Amendment.


Which brings us to the question of how, if at all, should this matter be handled. Mr. Feldman suggests that the constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment.


Talk about a firestorm in the making.