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This is about law and justice, not politics


It is not surprising that, the morning after Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of formal impeachment against Donald Trump, the blither-blather in the media is all about politics. Impeachment certainly has political consequences. But must we agree that the impeachment process as specified in the Constitution is inherently a political rather than a legal process? To make that claim is tantamount to saying that facts and the law don’t really matter, that only the polls matter, or how senators would vote if the House sends impeachment to the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi’s short statement yesterday was a masterpiece. Clearly she was speaking to history, focused on the law, the evidence, and the Constitution. No doubt Nancy Pelosi has done, and is doing, plenty of political calculus. But politics is secondary. Regardless of the political consequences, Donald Trump must be taken down because he is a dangerous criminal whose goal is to turn the American democracy into a Russia, with Donald Trump as the American Putin. Even if bringing Trump to justice is somehow politically damaging to the Democratic Party, as some of the blither-blather predicts (I disagree), then impeachment must be done anyway. As Nancy Pelosi said, no one is above the law.

One of the factors that makes this morning’s blither-blather ridiculous is the assumption that the impeachment investigation in the House of Representatives won’t uncover and prove the facts of Trump’s crimes. It will. Those facts will be devastating to Trump and will horrify the American people, with the exception, of course, of the 22 percent or so (the “base”) that will unquestioningly follow Trump all the way to hell.

Regular readers here know that my expectation for a long time has been that Donald Trump is going to prison and that he is not likely to even finish his term, let alone run again in 2020. I hold that view simply because Trump has committed so many crimes in so many jurisdictions. His being installed in the White House surrounded by goons gives him many ways to throw sand into the machinery of investigation and justice. Part of his strategy is to posture as such a Big Man that the law and mere snowflakes in the Democratic Party can’t touch him. But Trump will be brought to justice, and he will go to prison. If he doesn’t, then the American democracy and the rule of law will have been defeated. We will have become Russia. But I don’t believe that will happen.

You can be certain that the Republican Party is doing political calculus. For example, yesterday the U.S. Senate was very quick to hold a 100-0 vote on a resolution calling for the release of the whistleblower report to Congress. That was a warning to Trump about how quickly the Republican Party will turn on him, when that becomes necessary. It will become necessary when Republican political calculus sees that Trump is going down and that Trump must be thrown under the bus to try to salvage the 2020 election. My expectation continues to be that Trump will resign sometime before March 2020, when the first state primaries will be held. An earlier resignation would benefit the Republican Party, because states with early primaries have filing deadlines in late 2019. The Republican Party has repeatedly shown that party power is all that matters. The moment Republicans determine that Trump is a loser, they will turn on him. The Republican Party will do everything it can to avoid chaos in fielding a new candidate for 2020 after Trump goes down.

Yes, Trump will be looking for some kind of deal in exchange for resignation. But no deal will keep him out of prison, because his crimes in New York State cannot be pardoned or bargained away. Trump’s dream, of course, is a criminal dynasty with Ivanka or Junior up next. But they’re going to prison, too.

I am not claiming to have a crystal ball. I hold the views I hold because I believe that the law is much bigger than Donald Trump, because many of his crimes have already been exposed (if not yet proven and displayed to the American people) and are sufficient to keep him in prison for the rest of his life, and because I see Nixon’s resignation as a template for what the Republican Party will do upon concluding that Trump is doomed.

One Comment

  1. JamesM wrote:

    Gosh I hope you’re right. I’m so anxious because the Democratic challengers can’t seem to focus on a common thread or theme and the media keeps driving wedges. Surely reason will prevail.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

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