by Edwin Santana
With this new crisis regarding Trump’s blackmailing of a foreign leader to investigate his political opponents, Democrats are making the same mistakes they did with the Mueller probe. Many Democrats are tying their support for impeachment to the contents of a whistleblower complaint and the transcript of a call Trump had with the President of Ukraine. Like the Mueller report, if these two items don’t turn out to be bombshells that leave little wiggle room for the “both sides” corporate media to spin in favor of Trump (despite him admitting to impeachable offenses on live TV), Democrats will be left looking bitter and desperate.
A better alternative exists. To prosecute impeachment against Donald Trump, Speaker Pelosi needs to treat this as the straw that broke the camel’s back and form a select committee where a myriad of impeachable offenses can investigated and pushed to the floor for a House vote. Donald Trump has committed many offenses in his pursuit of the presidency, and since his election, and it would be malpractice to not shed further light on these crimes. Whether it’s the illegal payments to Stormy Daniels and him being an unindicted co-conspirator; his constant violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution and using the presidency to enrich himself and his family; the caging of children and deaths of migrants at the border; or his repeated efforts to obstruct justice in an investigation into his presidential campaign, Democrats should use this opportunity to tie all these instances into one coherent story. Namely, that Donald Trump committed crimes to win a presidency and has continued to do so in order to enrich himself at the expense of all Americans.
Some have called for Democrats to rush articles of impeachment to the House floor immediately. This would be a mistake! The point here is the process. Donald Trump will not be removed by the Mitch McConnell’s Senate (if he takes up impeachment at all). So, rushing a bill through the House – where it will either be ignored by the Senate or voted down immediately – will rob Democrats of an opportunity to make the full case against Trump.
No President has been removed from office via impeachment, so Democrats’ failure to do so here will not be remarkable. Andrew Johnson came within one vote of being removed. Richard Nixon resigned before articles of impeachment were formally passed., And Bill Clinton was impeached at the start of his second term in 1998, but not convicted. While pundits often point to Republicans’ impeachment of Clinton as a warning to Democrats, the facts don’t bear that out. In fact, after impeaching Clinton in 1998, Republicans went on to lose two seats in the House and four seats in the Senate. While maintaining a majority in the House, Republicans held on to the Senate via the vote of the Vice President.
This time around, if by impeaching Donald Trump, Democrats are “stuck” with a House majority and the Presidency, then there’s not much of a downside. Just don’t rush it, don’t short change the process, and don’t forget that Trump has committed myriad of impeachable offenses, any one of which would have already led to the impeachment of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, if the tables were turned.