If Donald Trump disclosed highly classified state secrets to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, he may be vulnerable to impeachment—not because he broke the law, which evidently he did not, but because he committed an act that would be considered criminal and perhaps treasonous if perpetrated willfully by any other government official.
Trump is exempt from the criminal statutes governing disclosure of classified information because he can legally declassify anything at will. But whimsical and boastful misuse of that authority, in the presence of an adversary power, is an extremely serious offense that requires immediate congressional investigation.
The president has put the nation at risk, not for the first time, and his apparent disdain for normal security and intelligence protocols represents an ongoing national emergency. It is an emergency that began within weeks of his inauguration, when he and his staff formulated their response to a February 12 North Korean missile test as diners at his Mar-a-Lago club watched agog from surrounding tables.
In the hours after the Washington Post revealed this latest breach—which involved information about a terrorist plot by the Islamic State—Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster publicly declared that "the story, as reported is false." McMaster went on to deny that the president had discussed "intelligence sources or methods" or "any military operations that were not already publicly known." Read full story