Whatever the Truth of Russia Collusion, Trump May Have Committed Impeachable Offenses in Just Covering it Up
It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup. Not entirely true. Indeed, when you think about it, this is a rather enigmatic saying. After all, why would someone conduct a criminal coverup when they didn’t commit a crime in the first place?
Bob Cesca, makes a good point over at Salon: what Trump has already done just in covering up an allegedly fake story is itself arguably grounds for impeachment. One of Nixon’s articles of impeachment was obstruction of justice-his firing of Archibald Cox.
Throw away everything regarding Russia collusion-this in itself could be an impeachable offense.
“All in all, we have at least several actionable if not impeachable offenses from last week alone, and it all emerged from the attempted coverup and firing of Comey — an action Trump didn’t have to take except to relieve the pressure valves on the Russia scandal. Why? Why is Trump so desperate to scramble the story? If he is innocent, there’s no reason for the White House to have tripped over itself so spectacularly. In that case, Comey’s investigation would ultimately have reached that conclusion. So, why try to kill off the investigation that could hypothetically exonerate Trump and his closest associates and put the whole thing to rest? Obviously because Trump and his closest associates are guilty.”
Uh-one working theory: he is guilty of something very serious. An innocent person would not have fired Comey-realizing what a political disaster that would be.
“But guilt over collusion doesn’t even need to be proved at this point. The investigation could be entirely blown up, by Trump or whomever else, and we’d still be left with a massively suspicious coverup in which various high crimes have been committed.”
“Trump should be terrified. No one knows for sure whether he is, but he should be. Charges of collusion are very much alive and he knows it. But the thing is, those collusion charges could evaporate tomorrow and we’d still be left with two more scandals: the coverup and the dubious financial links to Russian oligarchs. Those could be more than enough to summarily boot him out of the Oval Office and into a federal penitentiary where orange could be the new orange. Trump stupidly thought he could use and/or abuse the power of the presidency to wiggle out of this predicament, but it’s the unstoppable wiggling that’s getting him into more and more trouble. For a guy who everyone says is so media-savvy, Donald Trump is even more incompetent at cleaning up his own messes than he is at being president.”
Again this is the problem with ‘It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.’ If the crime is small beer or if there’s not really any crime why do cover it up?
Sometimes when it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
“When people behave as if they have something to hide, it is often because they do. For me, this is a basic law of human behavior.”
“That’s why President Trump’s baffling, outrageous, unfathomable and just plain bizarre behavior last week strengthened my already strong suspicions that there is something that Trump knows about the investigations into his campaign’s contacts with Russia that he doesn’t want us to know.”
“That is the only way that I can make sense of what happened: These are either the machinations of concealment, expressions of a burgeoning insanity, or both.”
“Legal and ethical questions abound about the impropriety and even legality of attempting to strong-arm, and then dismissing and threatening, the law enforcement official leading an investigation into your circle of associates.”
“Many of those questions rise not from clandestine sources, but rather from Trump himself. He is talking and tweeting himself into legal jeopardy. He can’t seem to help himself. Something in the man is broken.”
The Nixon comparisons write themselves. But the differences are also interesting. Nixon at least knew the taping system was something to conceal-Trump blurted out in a tweet thinking this somehow helps him?
Some people are ebulliently optimistic that the abomination is coming undone and may soon be at an end.
I do agree we don’t want to be overly optimistic. Claude Taylor argues we’re still in the first inning of this and that seems about right.
“But I would caution that this is a moment pregnant with calamity.”
“The man we see unraveling before our eyes still retains the power of the presidency until such time as he doesn’t, and that time of termination is by no means assured.”
“Trump is now a wounded animal, desperate and dangerous. Survival is an overwhelming, instinctual impulse, and one should put nothing beyond a being who is bent on ensuring it.”
In the last days of Nixon his own WH worried that he might drop a bomb on Capitol Hill to avoid impeachment-something which he had joked about privately.
“Banking on an easy impeachment or resignation or a shiny set of handcuffs is incredibly tempting for those drained and depressed by Trump’s unabated absurdities, perversions of truth and facts and assaults on custom, normalcy and civility.”
“But banking on this is, at this point, premature. I share the yearning. A case for removal can most definitely be made and has merit. But there remain untold steps between plausibility and probability. Expectations must be managed so that hopes aren’t dashed if the mark isn’t immediately met.”
I appreciate that Blow is urging managing expectations. He does allow for cautious optimism:
“There are incredibly encouraging signs that the Comey debacle has crystallized sentiment about the severity of Trump’s abnormality and the urgent need for an independent investigation into the Russia connection.”
This gets back to the point that Cesca at Salon made as well: Trump didn’t need to fire Comey unless he has something serious to hide.
If Trump is innocent of Trump Russia collusion then he has destroyed his Presidency in a needless coverup to an investigation he’s totally innocent of. If you want to assume he’s at all a rational actor the bet is there-is something serious to hide.
But just in the coverup alone we have:
1. The Comey firing
2. The attempt to silence him on Twitter
3. The revelation that there may be tapes-to me this is much more than 50-50.
4. Lets’ not forget the absurd Devin Nunes caper when the Trump WH leaked him classified info that he leaked to the press. Nunes himself is in a lot of trouble now with the Ethics Committee.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.