Written by: Nate1024
Tuesday Jul 18, 2017
There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the vast majority of Americans want to see Donald Trump vacate the White House as soon as possible. As the heated rhetoric gets hotter every week and our collective unease approaches panic, finding a solution to our problem becomes more urgent. We’ve been tossing ideas around online ever since Inauguration Day, it seems.
At first we thought impeachment might be possible due to Trump’s flagrant violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution. When it became obvious that Congress didn’t care, we more or less gave up on that angle.
Then, on May 9, Trump fired FBI director James Comey and all hell broke loose. Based on the circumstances surrounding that decision, including Trump’s comments during a televised interview with NBC’s Lester Holt and leaked transcripts from his Oval Office meeting with Russian diplomats, it seemed as though we had a solid obstruction of justice case on our hands. We did and still do – and let’s not forget that this is what led to the hiring of special counsel Robert Mueller in the first place – but it’s clear that Donald Trump will face no real consequences from firing James Comey any time soon, if ever.
For one, the question of whether a sitting president can be indicted has never been answered. Legal scholars tend to think the answer is no, but the Supreme Court would ultimately have to decide, should Robert Mueller wish to even consider indicting Donald Trump. Since this decision would be so huge, so monumental, and change the course of American history, it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court would want to allow a sitting president to ever face indictment. Perhaps I am underestimating the Supreme Court, but I do not see Robert Mueller even wanting to force them to make such a decision. Either way, his investigation, based on all estimates I have seen thus far, will likely take at least another year, perhaps two, or possibly even more. Without Mueller possessing the power to indict Donald Trump, we are still stuck with the impeachment process if we want Trump gone, even if Mueller concludes his investigation tomorrow.
With California Representative Brad Sherman officially filing an article of impeachment with the House Judiciary Committee last week, it seems as though many members of the Resistance believe that this is the beginning of the end. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but unfortunately, impeachment simply is not going to happen any time before 2019. Even then, Democrats would have to regain control of the House first, which will be no easy feat, especially considering how badly Trump wants to help Republicans cheat (again).
There is a lot of buzz online right now that much more damaging news will be reported this week concerning collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, and along with that added hope that maybe now this will be the tipping point – maybe Republicans will finally jump off the Trump train before it crashes and burns and get on board with Rep. Sherman’s article of impeachment. I know that a lot of people right now are suffering from crushing anxiety and an increasing sense of hopelessness due to the toxic climate that Trump has created, and I really do not get any satisfaction out of crushing anyone’s hopes or possibly adding to their anxiety, but if there was going to be a to point it should have been last week, when Donald Trump, Jr. released his emails proving that the woman he met with on June 9, 2016 in Trump Tower was an attorney with ties to the Russian government (or at least that was the impression Junior had, based on the email from Rob Goldstone, publicist for Kremlin-connected pop star Emin Agalarov). We finally had proof that the Trump campaign had the desire to collude with the Russian government in their illegal espionage campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Obviously, though, that was not the tipping point. Republicans basically just shrugged it off. A few of them said they were “concerned” or “disturbed” by the emails, but not a single one of them expressed any desire to move forward with impeachment. And even Democrats are STILL hesitant to embrace the idea. As of today, only one other congressperson publicly supports Brad Sherman’s article of impeachment, and that is Rep. Al Green of Texas.
My point is that the impeachment process is not going anywhere any time soon, if ever. Even if some very explosive news were to be published at some point – even concrete, irrefutable, undeniable, rock solid proof of collusion between the Russian government and Trump campaign – the Constitution requires that a majority of the House of Representatives vote in favor of impeachment before sending the case to the Senate, where two-thirds of them would have to vote against Trump in order remove him from office. Doing the math, that means that even if every single Democrat in both the House and Senate voted against Trump, a whopping TWENTY-FOUR Republicans in the House and FIFTEEN in the Senate would have to vote against him in order to eradicate this orange infestation. After the collective Republican shrug and the unending list of excuses on display last week, does anyone honestly think at this point that any hard-hitting news would make impeachment a reality?
Republicans seem willing to do whatever it takes to protect Trump. We know for a fact that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a letter to be sent to state election officials warning them about possible intrusions of the elections systems until it was too late to do much about it, and for some reason he did not want Russia to be mentioned by name in the letter. Hmm.
Evidence like this, plus other stories, like the leaked tape of Rep. Kevin McCarthy saying that he believed that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (and Donald Trump) received Russian money and House Speaker Paul Ryan shushing him, leads me to believe that the Republican Party as a whole is so deeply invested in Trump’s treason that literally nothing would convince 24 of them in the House and 15 in the Senate to vote against him. When it comes to betraying America and supporting Trump, they’re all in. To restate my point: impeachment will not happen anytime before 2019, if ever. Sorry.
A few weeks ago, there was a lot of chatter about the 25th Amendment of the Constitution serving as an alternate route to dumping Trump, with the hashtag #25thAmendmentNow trending for a little while. The process laid out by the 25th Amendment is not as simple as it seems on the surface. Contrary to popular belief, Trump’s cabinet does not simply have to decide by majority vote to remove him. The process is much more complicated than that. The bar for removal via the 25th Amendment is even higher than for impeachment (click here for an explanation), and this too would involve Congress. Furthermore, that would make Pence the president, and he is just as bad as Trump in many ways. We must not forget that. Pence has to go, too.
Unless Mueller presses the Supreme Court to allow him to indict Trump and they make history by agreeing to it, he can’t get rid of Don the Con.
The political will for impeachment/removal process does not exist among Republicans, despite proof of the desire of the Trump campaign to collude with the Russian government to steal the election, making it doubtful that any news would make this a realistic possibility.
Removing Trump via the 25th Amendment is even more difficult than impeachment, so respectfully, it is not something that should be seriously considered at all.
Alright, so I know I sound like a huge pessimist, and I sense that some of you reading this are on the verge of a major panic attack. Please calm down because there is some great news: I am not a pessimist. In fact, I am incredibly optimistic about Trump’s eviction from the White House. I think we can do it by the end of 2017, if we can band together, trust one another, and give it all we’ve got.
To echo the words of President Obama (channeling poet June Jordan), we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Guatemalans organized massive protests (and a national strike) in their capital city and across the country in 2015, successfully forcing their president to resign. South Koreans just this year did the same by occupying their capital every weekend in huge numbers.
Why can’t we do the same here in America? We can, and we must. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.