Over the weekend the Trump regime seemed to shift their stance on the Russia scandal yet again. They’ve gone from “no collusion” to “Trump didn’t collude” to “collusion isn’t a crime.” In other words, they keep acting guilty. When looked at broadly, it seems nearly certain that Trump has committed crimes as a private citizen as well as while a candidate and/or while in office. Trump…
- may have conspired with Wikileaks and the Russians to use stolen emails to influence the 2016 election in his favor.
- may have committed felony election fraud with Michael Cohen in his payoffs to mistresses.
- may have obstructed justice in his firing of James Comey and subsequent attempts to threaten witnesses in the Mueller probe.
- may have suborned perjury by directing Michael Cohen to lie to investigators about the Trump Moscow deal.
- may have played a part in criminal mismanagement of the Trump charitable foundation by using it as a secret slush fund.
- may have received $400 million in inheritance from his father via fraudulent and illegal means.
It’s is not an exhaustive list, but these are the highlights.
This weekend the discussions on cable news shifted from “is Trump guilty of a crime” to “let’s assume he is guilty of at least one crime”, which raised an obvious question. If it becomes generally accepted among everyone beyond his small core of cultists that Trump’s crimes are obvious and/or provable, should the Democrats move forward with impeachment or should they resist the urge and instead work hard to beat him in the 2020 election?
It would certainly be satisfying for him to lose in 2020. There are few rebukes worse than a general election loss after one term as president. He could complain that the vote was rigged, but that won’t hold much water. And the day he leaves office sealed indictments will be opened and he will be arrested–mark my words.
On the other hand, the rule of law is vitally important to our democracy. Refusing to hold the powerful accountable for breaking the law is a horrible precedent to set, especially by Democrats who have rightly been accusing the Republicans of having no values or principles other than corporate greed and lust for power. And if there was ever a president who seemed to deserve impeachment, Trump is looking like that guy. His presidency is a slow-rolling disaster, with scandal after scandal numbing the public while he obliterates norms, lies pathologically, and fosters corruption.
Impeachment should be discussed and every single impropriety by Trump and his cabinet should be thoroughly investigated. But I’m leaning toward letting the voters kick him out in 2020. His favorability numbers are historically awful and the midterms were an excellent indicator of the direction of the political winds for 2020. We still have a lot of hard work to do before the election, but even Trump knows he is unlikely to retain his place in the Oval Office. The investigations, meanwhile, will take a long time, and justice will still be served the moment Trump leaves office. This is a key point. It’s highly likely, especially for a chess master like Mueller, that Trump has already been indicted by a grand jury and the indictment has been put under seal until he leaves office. He can’t, after all, be indicted while in office according to DOJ guidelines, and indicting him under seal keeps the statute of limitations from letting him off the hook. If by some miracle he wins a second term, then start impeachment proceedings. Otherwise, let the wheels of justice take their course.
What do you think? Have a good week and keep resisting…