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Trump is Selling Out America in Syria and Beyond

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When they gathered in Philadelphia 232 years ago to write a constitution, a major goal was to protect the new nation from what Alexander Hamilton called the "desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."

To ensure no president would "betray his trust to foreign powers," as James Madison put it, they included an emoluments clause -- barring a president from accepting foreign payments.

They also gave Congress the right to impeach a president for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." During the Virginia ratifying convention, Edmund Randolph noted that a president "may be impeached" if discovered "receiving [help] from foreign powers."

You don't have to be an originalist to see the dangers to democracy when a president seeks or receives personal favors from foreign governments. There is no limit to how far a foreign power might go to help a president enlarge his political power and wealth, in exchange for selling out America.

Donald Trump is a xenophobe in public and international mobster in private. He has brazenly sought private gain from foreign governments at the expense of the American people.

This is shameful and criminal. At the very least, it is impeachable.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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