Being An Idiot Or A Moron Is Not A “High Crime Or Misdemeanor”

The Huffington Post has reported President Donald Trump is considering his own son-in-law Jared Kushner for the job of Chief of Staff to replace former General John Kelly who is leaving at the end of the year.

Kushner, who is already an official White House adviser, already has met with President Trump about the job.

According to media outlets, Kushner has been pushing his own candidacy with Trump, citing his work on a criminal justice reform package and a claimed ability to work with Democrats.

Trump is scrambling to find another Chief of Staff, considered one of the most powerful positions in the White House.

Nick Ayers, the Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence, was seen as the frontrunner to replace Trump’s departing Chief of Staff John Kelly, until he withdrew from consideration.

Others that were said to being considered are Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who ran for President against Trump.


There is no doubt that if Trump appoints Jared Kushner Chief of Staff it would be in violation of the federal nepotism statute, but that does not matter because of the way the law is written.

Following is the statute:

5 U.S. Code § 3110 – Employment of relatives; restrictions

(a)For the purpose of this section—

(1)“agency” means—

(A) an Executive agency;

(B)an office, agency, or other establishment in the legislative branch;

(C)an office, agency, or other establishment in the judicial branch; and

(D)the government of the District of Columbia;

(2) “public official” means an officer (including the President and a Member of Congress), a member of the uniformed service, an employee and any other individual, in whom is vested the authority by law, rule, or regulation, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals, or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an agency; and

(3) “relative” means, with respect to a public official, an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.

(b) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.

(c) An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section is not entitled to pay, and money may not be paid from the Treasury as pay to an individual so appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced.

(d) The Office of Personnel Management may prescribe regulations authorizing the temporary employment, in the event of emergencies resulting from natural disasters or similar unforeseen events or circumstances, of individuals whose employment would otherwise be prohibited by this section.

(e) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the appointment of an individual who is a preference eligible in any case in which the passing over of that individual on a certificate of eligibles furnished under section 3317(a) of this title will result in the selection for appointment of an individual.

The position of Chief of Staff does not have to be approved like cabinet secretaries with advise and consent of the United States Senate which means that Trump could go ahead with the appointment.

The problem with the statute is the penalty for violating it contains no criminal penalty.

According to section 3 (C) if Trump makes the appointment of Jared Kushner as Chief of staff the only penalty would be is that Kushner would not be paid, but he would have the enormous power within the White House.

Kushner is a millionaire, does not need to be paid, and is no doubt more interested in the power.


Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution provides that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The power and authority to bring Articles of Impeachment rests solely with the United States House of Representatives and a trial is then conducted by the United State Senate for removal from office, unless of course there is a resignation like Richard Nixon.

A “high crime and misdemeanor” can be whatever the House of Representatives say it is in Articles of Impeachment.

However, being an idiot or a moron is not a high crime or misdemeanor, because if it were, well, let’s not go there.

Violating the provisions of the nepotism statute could easily be defined as an impeachable offense.

The biggest problem for Trump at this point is finding anyone within his own administration who is actually loyal to him, who does not think he is a “f…ing moron” as expressed by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson or an “idiot” as expressed by John Kelly in private, and who does not think he has any business being President.

The appointment of Kushner would undermine the intent and spirit of the law but that has never mattered to Trump.

Jared Kushner and Trumps daughter Ivanka Trump may be the only two in the White House that Trump can trust at this point, but that still does not mean that they do not think he is a moron or an idiot.

It’s kinda like saying, I love my father, drunk or sober, moron or idiot.

For a related blog article see:

Trump Scrambles To Find A Loyal Chief of Staff

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.