Donald Trump deserves to be impeached. After leaving office, he deserves to be indicted, found guilty on multiple charges, and spend the rest of his days in prison eating nutraloaf. That would be a reality show I would watch. So the question isn’t if Trump deserves to be impeached, but should he?
The biggest argument for impeaching Trump is that he deserves it and it’ll stain his legacy. He would be only the third president to be impeached. But, just like the two impeachments before, it won’t remove him from office.
Andrew Johnson was impeached for firing his Secretary of War and replacing him while Congress was out of session. Congress had created a law, which Johnson vetoed, prohibiting him from doing this. Johnson was a very unpopular Democrat in the time of Reconstruction, yet the public opposed the impeachment. The Republican Senate failed to convict and remove him from office. Nearly 40 years later, the Supreme Court ruled that the law the Republicans in Congress claimed he violated, The Tenure of Office Act, was invalid.
The one thing that can be taken from Johnson’s impeachment is that there was no Special Counsel or Independent Prosecutor investigating him before Congress filed charges of impeachment. Congress can make the decision that the president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Republicans in 1998 initiated the impeachment process against Bill Clinton and approved two charges, one on perjury and another on obstruction of justice. These stemmed from his lying about receiving oral sex from an intern in the White House. The Independent Counsel who filed the report with Congress was initially investigating a bad land deal.
Before going forward with impeaching, the Speaker of the House had to resign as it was discovered he had extramarital affairs, then his replacement had to resign over the same issue. Finally, they settled on Dennis Hastert, who was convicted years later of being a pedophile. They never gained the higher ground, just the pervy ground.
While the GOP remained in control of the House, they lost seats during the impeachment build up. It was a lame-duck Congress that initiated the proceedings. The new Congress impeached Clinton in 1999 and the Republican-controlled Senate failed to convict him.
The GOP had a 55 vote majority in the Senate, yet they needed 67 votes to convict. Five Republicans voted against removing Clinton on one of the charges and ten voted against the second. Despite knowing they would lose, the GOP pressed forward with a losing fight. They were punished politically for it though they were able to win the presidency in 2000 (losing the popular vote and winning through the electoral college) which may have been helped by Clinton fatigue. But most Americans approved of the job Clinton was doing.
The House did file charges of impeachment against Richard Nixon but he resigned knowing he would probably be removed from office.
Donald Trump is a different case altogether. He’s committed greater crimes than lying about oral sex. The charges against him would not be over an imagined violation like the Johnson impeachment. The reasons for removing Donald Trump are made clear in the Mueller Report. Donald Trump attempted to commit obstruction of justice on at least ten occasions, but that’s just the Mueller Report being nice. House investigations will probably prove several more.
Trump’s willingness to receive help from the Russians in his campaign should qualify for impeachment. His disloyalty should be listed as a “high crime.” His attempts to obstruct an investigation should be the nail in the coffin. But he won’t be removed as the Senate Republicans all confirmed his newest Attorney General, which was their way of helping him obstruct the investigation. Republicans, who were mostly opposed to candidate Trump, have all drunk the Kool-Aid, converted and are now worshipping at the altar. They don’t care how stupid, corrupt, or embarrassing Trump is as long as he gives them tax breaks and horrible Supreme Court justices.
Should the Democrats go ahead and impeach Trump? While hardcore Democrats and liberals would be for it, the general public may punish them for it…even while despising Trump. It may fortify his rabid, stupid, racist base. And, we’re less than two years from the next election. Should Democrats wait it out knowing Nancy Pelosi won’t let Trump move any legislation, and hope they win the White House back in 2020? Honestly, I’m not sure.
The House does need to hold further investigations. They need to look into his taxes and business dealings. They need people like Donald Trump Jr. to testify, who was not interviewed by Mueller. Maybe what’s discovered will force the case for impeachment. Maybe it’ll wear the public out that Democrats will be convinced to hold off. A question Democrats should ask is, will not impeaching Trump hurt them in the election? I don’t think so. Impeaching him may. It could rub the public the wrong way, even while not having any love for Trump. The majority of Americans are disgusted by him and see his stupidity, racism, and corruption.
Trump does need to be punished, if only for posterity’s sake. That’ll be one of his many blemishes in the history book, along with the asterisks. If Democrats do decide not to impeach and Trump wins reelection (perish the thought), they didn’t miss their chance. He’ll do something stupid and illegal again that’ll warrant removal from office.
Donald Trump is corrupt. Have faith.
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