Trump won't lose his job – but the impeachment inquiry is still essential
The process is required by the constitution, seems to be shifting voters’ opinions, and will render the president unpardonable
Not even overwhelming evidence that Trump sought to bribe a foreign power to dig up dirt on his leading political opponent in 202o – and did so with American taxpayer dollars, while compromising American foreign policy – will cause Trump to be removed from office.
Trump heads to UK for Nato summit as impeachment deadline looms – live
That’s because there’s zero chance that 20 Republican senators – the number needed to convict Trump, if every Democratic senator votes to do so – have enough integrity to do what the constitution requires them to do.
These Republican senators will put their jobs and their political party ahead of the constitution and the country. They will tell themselves that 88% of Republican voters still support Trump, and that their duty is to them
It does not matter that these voters inhabit a parallel political universe consisting of Trump tweets, Fox News, rightwing radio, and Trump-Russian social media, all propounding the absurd counter-narrative that Democrats, the “deep state”, coastal elites, and mainstream media are conspiring to remove the Chosen One from office.
So if there’s no chance of getting the 20 Republican votes needed to send Trump packing, is there any reason for this impeachment proceeding to continue?
Yes. There are three reasons.
The first is the constitution itself. Donald Trump has openly abused his power – not only seeking electoral help from foreign nations but making money off his presidency in violation of the emoluments clause, spending funds never appropriated by Congress in violation of the separation of powers, obstructing justice, and violating his oath to faithfully execute the law.
A failure by Congress to respond to these abuses would effectively render the constitution meaningless. Congress has no alternative but to respond.
The second reason is political. While the impeachment hearings don’t appear to have moved Republican voters, only 29% of Americans still identify as Republican.
The hearings do seem to have affected Democrats and independents, as well as many people who sat out the 2016 election. National polls by Morning Consult/Politico and SSRS/CNN show that 50% of respondents now support both impeaching Trump and removing him from office, an increase from Morning Consult/Politico’s mid-November poll.
Presumably anyone who now favors removing Trump from office will be inclined to vote against him next November. The House’s impeachment could therefore swing the 2020 election against him.
The third reason for the House to impeach Trump even if the Senate won’t convict him concerns the pardoning power of the president.
The inside story of Trump's alleged bribery of Ukraine
Assume that Trump is impeached on grounds that include a raft of federal crimes – bribery, treason, obstruction of justice, election fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, making false statements to the federal government, serving as an agent of a foreign government without registering with the justice department, donating funds from foreign nationals, and so on.
Regardless of whether a sitting president can be indicted and convicted on such criminal charges, Trump will become liable to them at some point. But could he be pardoned, as Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon 45 years ago?
Article II, section 2 of the constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: “in Cases of Impeachment.”
If Trump is impeached by the House, he can never be pardoned for these crimes. He cannot pardon himself (it’s dubious that a president has this self-pardoning power in any event), and he cannot be pardoned by a future president.
Even if a subsequent president wanted to pardon Trump in the interest of, say, domestic tranquility, she could not.
Gerald Ford wrote in his pardon of Nixon that if Nixon were indicted and subject to a criminal trial, “the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost”.
Had the House impeached Nixon, Ford’s hands would have been tied.
Trump is not going to be so lucky. The House will probably impeach him before Christmas and then his chance of getting a pardon for his many crimes will be gone
but the impeachment inquiry is still essential
Yes, to show just how inept, incompetent, and uncohesive the DNC became, after HRC gutted it.
People should start a class action, to recover the massive costs to the taxpayer, this farcical inquiry cost them.
Thus far they have shown that Trump is a crook, just as was his daddy and his kids and most of the people who have their noses up his backside.
Until then it is opinion, speculation and garbage
What they've done, with their rather hasty hotchpotch "whistleblower" scam, is they've opened a massive can of worms, re Biden's extortion/blackmail of that Ukrainian official, who was about to spill the beans on Hunter's clearly bogus scam dealings in that nation.
I'd say it was worth the drama, for #45.
We will see in 2020 if the consertive media once more blinds the populace to facts with their trumpism BS. My take is that it is going to wake up the middle of the road voters.
The collusion of the mass corporate media is an international joke, since Trump became their target .
The reality is also Trump.
You've got quite a fan base of believers that it should have been Clinton, while the reality is, the US people made the right choice, given two very poor alternatives.
Most people voted for Hillary though.
Highlights from the newly released FBI Mueller investigation notes
For anyone truly interested in the Mueller report, the above is worth clicking or going to CNN to find and read. I love the power of the free press.
...the US people made the right choice, given two very poor alternatives.
If both choices are so abysmal, why choose sides at all? (And there were more than two people running, more than "two alternatives".)
The reality is also Trump.
...the US people made the right choice
The one that all the major intelligence (foreign and domestic) agencies proven that Putin wanted to win? The leader of the free world's greatest enemy since the end of WWII?
Everything they accused Hillary would do, Trump has done in spades including abusing his office for his own personal gain by offering bribes to another country.
and unsecured servers, and abandonment of people, and lying , and having phoney funds (including an "FPO University").
Trump does his on TV and via social media while unsecured.
Trump has lashed out at Emmanuel Macron on the first morning of a two-day Nato meeting, saying the French president’s description of Nato as brain dead was insulting and a “very, very nasty statement”.
And there would have been endless Benghazi-style hearings (witch hunts) and very likely impeachment attempts would have followed. Hell, Kaine would probably be #46 by now.