Alan Chartock: Wait for 2020 to be rid of TrumpMore Info
Many of you may disagree, but I think it is shortsighted and wrong to consider the impeachment of Donald Trump at this time. There are those who think that his impeachment is inevitable, and heaven knows he deserves it. We all know that if Trump is removed from office, as it stands we will probably get Vice President Pence. But to attempt an impeachment now will just create a firestorm among the Trump true believers that will last for decades. There are still people from the Nixon Watergate days who think that Tricky Dick was railroaded. Nope, it would be far better to beat him under the table in the next election and then, if the facts warrant it—and they sure seem to—indict and convict him and put him where he belongs: in jail.
We all saw the passion that led to the Democrats taking back the House of Representatives. In the case of the John Faso vs. Antonio Delgado race in New York’s 19th Congressional District, there were so many Delgado volunteers that they should have had a traffic cop telling those crossing the lines from Massachusetts to turn around. That passion will only increase between now and 2020 when Trump is sure to be turned out of office. So even though there is now substantial evidence that Trump really didn’t win due to the interference of the Russians and other tricksters including the Electoral College, it would be preferable to clean his clock in the next presidential election.
Some, however, argue that he should be impeached now. After all, a lot can happen in the next two years. One of the reasons why the Republican establishment types who clearly hate Trump’s guts continue to support him is that the Supreme Court may have up to two additional vacancies in the next two years. But go back and read the section on Vice President Mike Pence. The establishment Republicans might well prefer Pence, but they will surely get their Supreme Court picks in any case, especially if Mitch McConnell continues to subvert the U.S. Constitution and hold all Republican feet to the fire. So, other than our proper fury at Trump and his shenanigans including his lying and even possible treason, this is a time to do it right.
We know that the House of Representatives will be in the hands of the Democrats. We also know that Jerrold Nadler and other powerful Democrats will use their subpoena power to document Trump’s wrongdoings. They should absolutely do that. The incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James has promised to pay a lot of attention to Trump; and her predecessor, Barbara Underwood, has already forced the Trump Foundation to disband because of their very bad and illegal behavior. In order to get around the potential abuse of his federal pardon power, it is essential that potential state charges are in place should Trump move to pardon himself or any co-conspirators. Remember, a good deal of mischief from characters like Michael Cohen and New Yorker Donald Trump happened within the borders of the Empire State. We know that the Department of Justice has a memo suggesting that a sitting president cannot be indicted but there is a question, at least in my mind, as to whether that precludes state indictments. I would bet that, if that were to happen, the matter would go to the Supreme Court. What would happen then is anyone’s guess.
In any case, right now, there is enough passion in this country to assure that Trump will lose badly in the 2020 election and that is the way to do it. There aren’t enough votes to convict in the Senate and there is too much at stake to blow it now. So no matter how angry you are at Trump, think clearly. Don’t blow it now. Right?