The Train Wreck That Is The Donald Trump Presidency

The Train Wreck That Is The Donald Trump Presidency


Leonard Zwelling

In the early summer of 1973, Professor William Van Alstyne, a Constitutional law expert at the Duke Law School, was the guest of the dinner society I organized at Duke Medical School.

The Engel Society met once a month or so. It consisted of twelve Duke Medical School faculty members and twelve Duke medical students. We invited a guest speaker for dinner and discussion.

On the way out the door that evening, Professor Van Alstyne, our guest, said, “he’s gone.” He was speaking about President Richard Nixon a full year before the resignation. The handwriting on the wall was clear to him, a Constitutional scholar, and he did not have mural dyslexia.

In the case of the immediate past president of MD Anderson, I played the role of Van Alstyne although I did so three or four years before Dr. DePinho finally resigned. Why was I so sure? Because it was clear to me that he was an unethical mess of a leader with ideas about curing cancer that showed a complete lack of understanding of the nature and substance of the cancer problem and the cancer research community at MD Anderson, in America and in the greater world. Dr. DePinho was a poor choice for president and I am concerned that the latest word in the Chronicle
( suggests that the Search Advisory Committee is being pushed to work fast almost guaranteeing another poor choice.

The question before the house now, and maybe before the House soon, is whether or not the country has reached the point with Donald Trump that he can no longer function as president. I believe that we are there.

Today (May 11) we learned that all the talk of yesterday about Trump firing Comey on the advice of the Deputy Attorney General is just false. He told Lester Holt he had already decided to fire him. It appears that there was some sort of quid pro quo being promoted by the president that if Comey would not investigate him, he could stay as FBI Director. We need to hear from Comey on that one, but my guess is that he will have a different story. He may well have asked Mr. Trump if he could stay on and lead the FBI, but I really doubt he even implied that Mr. Trump was in the clear. Because we know he’s not and Comey could not know whether he is or is not just yet.

Today, May 16, we have learned that not only did President Trump drop classified intel on the Russians about ISIS, but did it without knowing its source was Israel, who is no friend of Russia. Further, it appears that the president may well have obstructed justice in trying to get Comey to back off his investigation of Michael Flynn.

Finally, the nepotism surrounding Mr. Trump, Ivanka, and The Jared makes Dr. DePinho’s little promotion of his wife look like pettiness.

It is likely that Mr. Trump not releasing his taxes may constitute an obstruction of justice and if it is found, as I believe it will be, that he ordered the undermining of the Obama Russian sanctions by promising his buddy Putie to remove them once in office during the transition, he was interfering with the activities of the government while still a private citizen. That’s a crime.

Collectively, this is more than enough for impeachment and while we are at it, we may well have to impeach the lying vice president, too, who was present during all of this and surely knew that Mr. Trump did not fire Comey under the advice of the Deputy Attorney General or the recused Attorney General, but of his own volition. Of course, that would make Paul Ryan president, which is only making it all worse as SNL depicted on May 13, Ryan has become Trump’s lap dog. Arf!

Mr. Trump will probably be forced from office, particularly if the Democrats can regain the House in 2018, which is possible. The Senate may stay red and not convict as occurred with Bill Clinton who clearly lied under oath.

I can’t quite say that “he’s gone” yet. But it is looking more likely by the minute—and I mean by the minute.

Mr. Trump appears to be a deer in the headlights with the press, the Russians, and the Congress with pedal to the metal. There will be no skid marks when the bus backs up.

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