The Children In Congress And In The White House

By

Leonard Zwelling

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/opinion/impeachment-hearing-republicans.html

As this editorial from the New York Times makes clear, Republicans are running out of ways and means of protecting the corrupt presidency of Donald Trump. They have now resorted to donning their superhero suits (blue three-buttons with red ties and white shirts) and storming the closed hearing room of the House committees on impeachment demanding that the closed door hearings be opened to the public. Apparently, when this idea was floated before President Trump the day before, he endorsed it. Well, sure, why not endorse a food fight in the cafeteria when you’re losing the election for student body president? When you can’t win on the facts, try to win on process.

After the accusations of the unnamed whistleblower have been substantiated by a series of witnesses whose testimony has leaked to the press, it is clear that President Trump has no where to run.

First, the House will take secret depositions to make sure everyone’s stories match and no one is influenced by the recollections of anyone else. It’s the way grand juries work.

Second, will come the public testimony of a chosen few that might also include ex-Trump officials like John Bolton, probably in November. Whether or not the whistleblower is unmasked at that point is now irrelevant. The reports of his or her testimony have been echoed by career diplomats like William Taylor. Despite what the talking Republican Fox heads say, Trump demanded a public investigation by Ukrainian officials of a political rival. Whether or not he held up the aid to force the issue doesn’t matter. It’s true you can’t have a quid pro quo without a quo. But when the quid is illegal, that’s enough. That act alone is an impeachable offense. The White House’s lack of cooperation with the House investigation is obstruction and Trump is probably guilty of abuse of power as well. It’s Watergate vuja de.

So with the number of legal options open to the Republicans in the House starting to shrink, the same Republicans who demanded that the Benghazi hearings be held in secret, a group of 30 stormed a hearing room in the Capitol demanding that they be allowed in. This was childish. So are the actions of the president to call people names and refuse to release his taxes and cooperate with this investigation.

By now it is clear to one and all that Mr. Trump did hold up military assistance to Ukraine to try to force the newly-elected president of that country to publicly open a probe of Joe and Hunter Biden in an effort to enhance Trump’s own reelection. This is a crime. Period. Sorry Trumpers. Your boy stepped over the line one too many times.

So third, it is likely that some time before Christmas, after the closed door hearings and their open door counterparts, the U. S. House of Representatives will vote to impeach Donald Trump. Whether they impeach the Attorney General and Vice President as well, I doubt, but it wouldn’t be off base to do so.

Then probably after the first of the year, as the votes are being counted in Iowa, the Senate will launch a six to eight-week trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. My guess is that Trump will be acquitted, but the American people will hear laid out in detail what Mr. Trump did that led to the impeachment and trial and then they will be the ultimate jury, not the biased Republican Senate. This is as is should be.

The real question is who will the Democrats provide as an alternative to Trump? If it is Elizabeth Warren or one of the other left-leaning candidates, Mr. Trump will probably win again and will get the last laugh. The joke, however, will be on all of us because America will be seen by the rest of the world as having deserted all its principles if we elect Mr. Trump again.

As I have said before, we are unlikely to get over Mr. Trump and his crew of henchmen, Mafiosos and morons. But we can recover from four years of him easier than we can recover from eight years of him. Of that, I am sure.

But for that to happen, the Democrats have got to nominate a viable option. Who that is is not at all obvious at this time.

Leonard Zwelling