Why Both Republicans & Democrats Should Favor Trump Impeachment
On the heels of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s only public clarification of his report independent of Attorney General William Barr’s public distortion of it, the most two most telling statements he made were:
- “It [the report] explains that under longstanding department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.
- “And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Thus, it was never Mueller’s intent to indict the sitting President of the United States, but instead to provide a robust investigation for the Congress to choose to act or not to act on the evidence the report provided. He also is stating that Trump is not exonerated or declared innocent in the report. In short, he is telling Congress that he did his job, now it is time to do theirs.
This is wholly appropriate. Let’s go back in time to when President Bill Clinton was impeached. The false narrative that democrats at the time successfully got a majority of Americans to believe was that the Whitewater investigation that unveiled an act of adultery by the President in the Oval Office was the basis for impeachment. An act of adultery in the nation’s highest office was a dishonorable and immoral act to be sure, but not a crime or an impeachable offense. This, however, was not the basis for impeachment as President Bill Clinton, in the aftermath of the unveiling of the affair, did indeed commit the crime of perjury by he lying about it under oath.
Despite proving that President Clinton committed a crime, the arguably right leaning partisan, Ken Starr, did the right thing within his Department of Justice mandate, which was not to indict a sitting President for a crime, but instead to refer the matter to the Congress to choose to act or not act. The republican led House at that time decided to act and appropriately moved on to impeachment proceedings. Regardless of political motivation and knowing full well that a motion to remove the President from office would not have enough votes in the Senate, the House ultimately did the right thing by making it clear to the executive branch that they would act to hold it accountable.
Fast forward back to present day, in light of Robert Mueller circumventing Trump puppet and apologist William Barr to speak directly to the Congress and the American people, democrats need to grow a spine, do their jobs and move to impeach. Is there a political risk to this action? Of course there is.
Trump will get to engage in his favorite narrative that his unyielding base continues to swallow hook line and sinker, that he is the victim of a deep establishment bent on taking him down; but the ever so courageous Trump will fight back and not allow the establishment to prevail. The fact that he will lie, distort, and tweet constant nonsense along the way will not matter because his base simply does not care if he is a truthful or moral man, or even shows any sense of presidential decor. Like the democrats of the Clinton era, happy with a strong economy having long ago sold their souls to ideology, holding their man accountable only energizes and solidifies them.
So yes, it is a big political risk for democrats to move to impeach Trump, but it is the right thing to do. To fail to do so takes us a big step closer to autocracy where Presidents increasingly behave as kings rather than elected leaders accountable to the two other branches of government and the American people they serve. Republicans for the same reasons should feel the same way, as to see the justification for Trump impeachment any differently than that of Clinton is hypocrisy and tribal politics as its worst.