America’s nurses call for the impeachment of the President
National Nurses United co-President Deborah Burger (left) and Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. | left image National Nurses United; right image Wikipedia (CC)

OAKLAND, Calif. —Citing the need to preserve the rule of law in the U.S., National Nurses United announced Sept. 30 that it too backs the House’s official impeachment investigation of GOP President Donald Trump.

The announcement makes NNU, whose 190,000 members are known for their political activism and progressive stands, the third union to back the impeachment probe. The Teachers (AFT) and the Service Employees preceded NNU. Other unions are silent, so far.

“In the face of persistent bullying by President Trump and his surrogates, it has taken political and personal courage for (House) Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the House Democrats who have been repeatedly vilified, to initiate an effort to take a stand for the rule of law,” said NNU co-President Deborah Burger, RN.

Pelosi assigned the formal investigation to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. It will focus on Trump’s admission that he demanded the new Ukrainian president dig up political dirt – alleged corruption – by former Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son, in return for the release of almost $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

Trump has offered plenty of evidence to the nation that he is willing to use the departments of government in the service of his own personal and political interests. Strong-arming the government of Ukraine to turn up dirt on an opponent is only one instance in a long-time consistent trend for him.

Public opinion is rapidly turning against Trump, the latest polls show. The National Nurses United is the latest in a flood of activist groups nationwide that are mobilizing during the current congressional recess to pressure lawmakers to take a stand on the impeachment investigation of Trump, in the Constitution’s language, for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Congress “should properly investigate whether the president has violated the Constitution and federal law in an appeal to a foreign government to intervene in the U.S. elections. That would be an attack on our sovereignty and a threat to our democracy,” Burger said.

Bonnie Castillo, RN, the union’s executive director, also cited Trump’s threats if he is impeached. In tweets on Sept. 28-29, Trump declared there would a civil war in the U.S. if the House impeached him.

She connected the misdoings of the president to the rise in white supremacist violence in the country. Those tweets, Castillo said, “constitute threats and come alarmingly close to encouraging violence if he is impeached, which is especially alarming at a time in which we have seen a rise in incidents of white supremacist violence.”

The civil war tweet is “a dog whistle”  to the heavily armed white nationalists, NNU added.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an authority on hate groups, reports white supremacist and nationalist violence has risen by 30% since Trump took office. And Trump, of course, became infamous for praising some neo-Nazis as “very nice people” after their riot in Charlottesville, Va., when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a group of peaceful counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others.

NNU also cited Trump’s suggestion that the whistleblower who reported the conversation with the Ukrainian president be treated as a spy and his demonization of “The Squad” – the four first-year Democratic U.S. representatives, all women of color, who are outspoken critics.

“We are at a crossroads in this nation and the rule of law and the future of democracy are at stake, said Burger. “House members should be encouraged to press the investigation in a fair manner without being subject to threats antithetical to the foundation of what this country should represent.”


CONTRIBUTOR

Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.

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