The Washington Post’s long-time Pulitzer Prize winning mediocrity, Eugene Robinson, actually enticed me into reading one of his Left-pandering columns with the click-bait title, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” I was genuinely curious to see if Robinson had found a real justification for impeaching the President other than some selections out of the Ethics Alarms Get Rid Of Trump Plan list, which now stretched from A to Q. Just so we are all on the same page, here is the current list:
Plan A: Reverse the election by hijacking the Electoral College
Plan B: Pre-emptive impeachment.
Plan C : The Emoluments Clause.
Plan D: “Collusion with Russia”
Plan E : ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”
Plan F: The Maxine Waters Plan, which is to just impeach the President as soon as Democrats control both Houses, because they can.
Plan G : “The President obstructed justice by firing incompetent subordinates, and that’s impeachable.”
Plan H: “Tweeting stupid stuff is impeachable”
Plan I: “Let’s relentlessly harass him and insult him and obstruct his efforts to do his job so he snaps and does something really impeachable.”
Plan J : Force Trump’s resignation based on alleged sexual misconduct that predated his candidacy. .
Plan K: Election law violations in pay-offs of old sex-partners
Plan L: The perjury trap: get Trump to testify under oath, then prove something he said was a lie. [
Plan M: Guilt by association. Prove close associates or family members violated laws.
Plan N: Claim that Trump’s comments at his press conference with Putin were “treasonous.”
Plan O:: The Mueller investigation report is justification for impeachment even though the investigation found no evidence of crimes or misconduct that could sustain an ethical prosecution.
Plan P: Trump should be impeached because he’s daring the House Democrats to impeach him.
Plan Q: Impeach Trump to have an unquestionable right to acquire his tax returns, on the assumption that the returns will justify impeachment.
If these seem progressively more desperate to you, there’s a reason: they are, particularly the last three, which emerged after the Mueller investigation failed to accomplish what it was set up to do.
So how do Eugene Robinson’s overwhelming justifications for impeachment stack up? He writes,
Obstruct a Justice Department investigation, perhaps? No, apparently that’s not enough. What about playing footsie with a hostile foreign power? Abusing his office to settle personal grievances? Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents? Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights? Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours? Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists? Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight? Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference? Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents? Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed? President Trump has done all of this and more.
The last sentence is a tell, of course. It tells us that Robinson is just mouthing the Maxine Waters impeachment argument: Trump should be impeached because everything about Trump drives Democrats, progressives and their allies crazy….in short, “Orange Man Bad!” But let’s examine the reasons Robinson enumerates:
- Obstruct a Justice Department investigation.
It’s so nice of Eugene to destroy his credibility up front like this. Reviewing the (weak) evidence that the Mueller investigation suggested might support a charge of obstructing justice, the official responsible for making the determination concluded that there was no obstruction. Even Mueller, in his unethical and Justice policy defying statement, didn’t say the President obstructed an investigation, He said that the investigation didn’t prove he didn’t obstruct it, which is legally meaningless. So we also know Robinson isn’t a lawyer.
- Playing footsie with a hostile foreign power
This is so stupid it doesn’t deserve rebuttal. So we have moved on from the “collusion” fake crime to the even more ephemeral “playing footsie” standard? Huh. Would Obama’s infamous “more flexibility” comment to Putin caught on camera be considered “footsie”?
- Abusing his office to settle personal grievances
Another made up offense.
- Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents?
Eugene’s link to support this false assertion is a typical Trump attack Atlantic article that claims such conduct as accusing the Justice Department of behaving unethically (which evidence increasingly shows it did) and appointing an acting Attorney General who was critical of the Mueller investigation somehow meets Robinson’s hyperbolic description. The article also asserts that Trump wanting Hillary Clinton and James Comey to be prosecuted is an abuse of power.
- Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights.
Oh, for God’s sake. It’s called foreign policy and utilitarian trade-offs, you imbecile. It would be impossible to name a President who did not do this. We can argue about when it is a prudent course, but what a self-evidently silly statement. Obama reached out to Cuba and opened diplomatic relations without insisting on any human rights reforms at all. Was that impeachable. Eugene?
- Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours.
See Plan K. This is a tortured election law violation theory that will not hold water. Worse, it depends on the testimony of the Most Unethical And Unbelievable Lawyer Alive, Michel Cohen.
- Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists?
One of the “resistance’s” Big Lies.
- Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight.
And in the process of abusing that oversight. “Defying a request” is impeachable, eh, Eugene? The President has the same right to challenge the validity of a subpoena as anyone else, as well as a duty to protect his office and the Separation of Powers. Until the issue has been adjudicated, there is nothing improper or illegal with telling Congress to take a hike.
- Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference?
What? WHAT? The 2016 election was under Obama’s watch. Does Robinson know which President he is talking about?
- Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents?
So now it’s just “resistance” talking points, is it? The President cannot be impeached for legal policies executed by executive agencies, particularly policies that were mandatory under the law, even more particularly policy that the previous administration followed as well. For “asylum-seeking parents” read “illegal immigrants endangering their children to breach U.S. borders.”
- Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed.
More talking points and narratives. All of President Trump’s exaggerations, botched facts, misrepresentations and mistakes rolled up into one ugly ball would still not equal the dishonesty and the damage done by Barack Obama’s signature lie to sneak the Affordable Care Act by the gullible public. And no, that wasn’t impeachable, just despicable.
The answer to Robinson’s headline question, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” is this:
A President who has actually engaged in conduct the Constitution says is impeachable. As Robinson’s weak and ignorant case shows vividly, President Trump hasn’t.