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Brandon Kopp

Alan Chartock: Wait for 2020 to be rid of Trump

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By Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019 Viewpoints 10

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?

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10 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Jack Grumbach says:

    Alan, you did not discuss the other possibility — that Trump, like Nixon, would resign. In that eventuality, there might well be a fringe of remaining die-hard Trump fans, but they would be relatively few if he brought the ignominy upon himself. (Of course, he would be likely to pardon himself or get Pence to do it as a quid pro quo.) So, even though the odds are long, I hope we don’t have to wait until 2020.

    1. Elliott Morss says:

      I think Alan Is right. Given what we know now, waiting makes sense. And Jack might also be right. But keep in mind, the Mueller report might change everything.

  2. Don Walsh says:

    As a brief note to the excellent Carole Owens piece on Benedict Arnold, note that Andre did not stay in Philadelphia after Washington marched back in though he kept in touch with many there thrpugh a network of agents and ‘cut-outs’ of his own.
    Further, I believe Arnold may have suggested Continental uniforming to Andre at the inception of the latter’s trek south through the ‘Neutral Ground,’ but Major Andre stayed in his British officers dress, albiet under a cloak. The Tarrytown militiamen who captured Andre did remove his boots (a rare commodity!) but all a modern historian can do is form a conjecture as to exactly where the plans for West Point were secreted…

  3. lou says:

    I agree with you Alan about being a mistake to impeach Trump but I think you’re overestimating a ” blue wave” carry over into 2020. Trump might very well be the most unqualified person ever to be President but let’s be honest, Trump is more of a symptom of the real problems that led to his election. We have two major political parties that take their marching orders from the same oligarchs. The corporate media is owned by the people they should be investigating. Remember how they built Trump up because they thought he’d be the easiest for Queen Hillary to beat ? That worked out well didn’t it. We bail out banks and let people get thrown out of their homes to protect bank profits. We don’t prosecute war criminals but we have no problem filling jails with poor folks for far lesser offenses. The question of ” how do you plan to pay for it ” is only asked when it involves programs that might actually help average people. Why is it never asked when it is money for endless illegal war or tax breaks for the wealthy ? Let’s see what the democratic leadership does with it’s ” blue wave”. If they continue to have amnesia about who FDR was and continue to aid the republicans in dismantling his ” New Deal” I grimly predict it will be back to the swamp.

  4. Carl Stewart says:

    It is probably true that predictions about Donald Trump’s electibility (is that a word?) in 2020 are about as reliable as the same predictions were in 2016. There are 2 months between now and Election Day so let’s not be too glib about what we think is going to happen.

    Anyone who has followed the career of Nancy Pelosi knows that she is a very savvy politician and tactician. She knows that the new Democratic majority in the House has plenty to do before it even seriously thinks about impeachment. It seems a fair speculation to believe that the recent extension of the Mueller grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia for 6 more months means that more indictments are likely.

    What about the “rule” of the inability to indict a sitting President? There is no such rule; nothing in the Constitution or any of the laws of the United States precludes this. The sole basis for believing that Trump can not be indicted while he is president comes from two opinions, one in 1973 and the other in 2000 (I believe) from the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice. These opinions are just that…opinions. And while Bob Mueller has apparently stated that he intends to follow those guidelines, there is no settled law on the matter.

    And why do we think that Trump has not already been indicted? It is not all that uncommon for grand juries to hand up sealed indictments, that is, an indictment on which the grand jury returns a “true bill” but which is then sealed by a Federal magistrate for any number of reasons. It is entirely possible that Mueller’s team has presented evidence sufficient for an indictment by the D.C. grand jury. Perhaps, that indictment will remain sealed until the day after the new President’s inauguration in January 2021.
    Interesting to contemplate, eh?

    1. Carl Stewart says:

      Oops…that should have been “22 months” rather than “2.”

  5. Diane Alexander says:

    To Alan:
    Request for clarification. Would you pls provide more information to support this sentence ” So even though there is now substantial evidence that Trump really didn’t win due to the interference of the Russians …”
    I do not remember reading of any evidence that could demonstrate/measure/prove the effects of manipulated social media, nor effects of hacking and releasing of confidential emails.

  6. Russ Skelton says:

    Alan’s right. It’s best to sweep this president out at the ballot box.

  7. Howie Lisnoff says:

    Impeaching Trump would mean a trial in the Senate and that will never happen. In some fictional land, the successful removal of Trump gives the nation Pence. There’s a guy who believes that some will ascend up on high through some sort of Armageddon, and he’s got political organization behind him unlike the jester-in-chief.

    The question of 2020 is a very tricky one. Do the Dems finally come up with a candidate who will help the people who need help? Jobs, the environment, health care for all, some measure of income equality, and maybe the end to endless wars come to mind. By the way, a Trump defeat in 2020 is not a certainty.

    1. lou says:

      You’re right Howie. The Dems have used this Russia hacking nonsense ( so far) to shift the attention away from their own incompetence. How does the most qualified candidate ever to run for the office – tongue in cheek-, all the money, and support from the corporate media loose to a game show host ? In addition, if you’re screaming Russia, Russia, Russia 24-7 you also can’t talk about the election that was really stolen – the 2016 primary . There has to be more than just a hatred for Trump for the Dems to win. You mention about who the Dems come up with for a candidate, they have already proven that they would rather loose to a Republican than win with a Progressive. Keeps their donors happy.

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