Patterico's Pontifications


The House Should Impeach Donald Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

Prof. Jonathan Adler has an excellent piece in the New York Daily News titled Why the House must vote yes: Trump is the one who is upsetting our democracy and constitutional order. What I especially like about the piece is that Adler emphasizes what I think is most important: Trump’s Ukraine call is not a one-off, but part of a consistent pattern of abusing the office for personal gain:

A president who uses his power to subvert the workings of our constitutional structure has forfeited any claim to the office, whether or not that president pursues policies or appoints judges we might otherwise support.

If it was correct for Congress to impeach a president for lying under oath in an effort to subvert a legal proceeding — as I believe it was — impeaching President Trump should be a no-brainer.

The current push for impeachment was triggered by revelations that the president sought to induce Ukrainian government officials to announce an investigation into a political rival by withholding congressionally authorized funds. These actions, which are virtually indisputable, represent a profound betrayal of the president’s oath and solemn obligations to our country and Constitution, but they are hardly the only impeachable actions Trump has committed.

On repeated occasions, the president sought to obstruct a lawful inquiry into Russian efforts to interfere with our elections, according to the Mueller Report, including by directing subordinates to create false records that could be used to mislead investigators and dangling pardons before colleagues facing criminal prosecution.

He has also encouraged foreign governments to seek to influence U.S. elections (in his favor, of course) and obstructed legitimate congressional investigations into matters large and small, ranging from the Ukraine matter to his compliance with the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause. He has further given every indication that he sees nothing wrong with his conduct — it is “perfect,” after all — and is likely to continue.

Here’s Trump today, whining about how he was not entitled to witnesses in the House (not entirely true), despite the fact that when he goes to the Senate he … won’t be presenting any witnesses. Sure, he’s engaged in a little kabuki show about how he wants to, but he knows that witness testimony would be bad for him, because the facts and the truth are bad for him. He supposedly wanted to testify to Mueller too. Right.

He has a little shot about Schiff and how they handle people like him “much tougher” in Guatemala. Well. In 1945 the Italians handled a problem with their leader in a manner much tougher than this impeachment. So?

Stuff like this is a reminder why he needs to be gone yesterday.

The House must vote yes. If for no other reason, they must do it so that in the future, I can refer to the president as “impeached president Donald Trump.”

P.S. If you’re outraged at the notion that a conservative site would support impeachment of a Republican president, I’ve got good news for you. Eleven years ago, Donald Trump indicated that he thought impeachment of a Republican president would have been a “wonderful thing”:

“When [Pelosi] first got in and was named speaker,” Trump said to Blitzer then, “I met her. And I’m very impressed by her. I think she’s a very impressive person, I like her a lot.”

“But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush,” he continued. “It just seemed like she was really going to look to impeach Bush and get him out of office. Which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.”

“For the war,” Trump replied. “For the war! Well, he lied! He got us into the war with lies!”

So supporting impeachment of a Republican president is acceptable, it turns out. After all, if Trump does it, it’s OK. That’s the law!

Anyway, Trump will be impeached today. Which personally I think will be a wonderful thing.

P.P.S. Trump on what a horror show impeachment is for a president. “He would be a mess. He would be thinking about nothing but. It would be a horror show for him. It would be an absolute embarrassment. It would go down on his record permanently.”

That’s you today, soon to be impeached President Donald J. Trump. Enjoy the day. I know I will!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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