How Donald Trump's impeachment will end
After another week of impeachment inquiry testimony on The Hill, a few indisputable facts came into sharp focus.
This testimony came during public hearings that dwarf Watergate by exposing a depth of decadence and depravity that would make even Nixon shudder.
According to fiercely independent professionals, like Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill, David Holmes, and Trump patron Gordon Sondland President Donald Trump sold out his country’s interests for his own. In the process of trying to pressure our Ukraine ally to do his personal dirty work, Trump held up military aide while a key U.S. ally was (and still is) engaged in a war with a mutual enemy - Russia.
Those facts are not doubted nor disputed by anyone defending President Donald Trump.
Trump can’t use the Johnny Cochran defense: “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.”
Only the Mick Mulvaney defense, first given a trial run several weeks ago, is left for this administration. His inspired defense is so simple even Trump and most of his base can understand it: “The Gloves Fit. Get Over it.”
It’s a chant destined to be all the rage at whatever rallies Trump attends over the next three months to make his pain go away.
But the pain won’t go away since it’s self-inflicted. Trump’s no victim of circumstance. He’s a victim of his own avarice.
The President of the United States is not above the law. But he will continue to act that way as long as no one holds his feet to the fire
His own “transcript” (actually just a memo with excerpts) of the key conversation on July 25 with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump acting like a mob boss.
“The United States has been very, very good to Ukraine,” Trump told Zelensky on the White House residence phone. “. . .The United States has been very, very good to the Ukraine.”
The mob boss, first telling his mark how much he has done for him, then hits him with his demand wrapped in the guise of a favor. “I would like you to do us a favor though . . .” Trump said.
Knowing his propensity for voice work, you wouldn’t be surprised if Trump said this to Zelensky as Don Corleone. Trump constantly tweets “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” of this call and it is both funny and terrifying to think he’s proud of his “perfect” phone call.
At the end of the call Trump, the wannabe mob boss, promised a follow-up visit from his consigliere. “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City. A great mayor . . .” Trump said as he made it clear who would be showing up with the horse’s head at Zelensky’s house if the Don’s will wasn’t done to his satisfaction.
This would be a funny Godfather parody, but this is reality.
This is not normal.
So far those who’ve risked the most to tell the truth in Trump’s latest seemingly unending series of scandals include Lt. Colonel Vindman, Counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Holmes; Former Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch and former NSC official Hill.
Ambassador Sondland’s revelations include this startling admission: “They all knew what we were doing and why,” Sondland claimed of every relevant senior Trump administration official. As for the GOP and presidential claim there was no “quid pro quo,” Sondland admitted there was. All of it, he claimed, was a scheme to benefit Trump’s campaign against perceived rival Joe Biden.
Mick Mulvaney took a lot of heat several weeks ago when he admitted in a question and answer exchange with ABC’s Jonathan Karl during a rare White House briefing that there was a quid pro quo deal and we all better just “get over it.” Now it appears the rest of the administration and all of the president’s supporters have gone to ground where Mulvaney anchored himself weeks ago.
Somebody should check and see if Mick’s still around. He seems to be the presidential bellwether.
We are cruising toward a showdown. This week’s testimony makes the President’s impeachment inevitable with charges against Trump probably coming before Christmas. Happy Holidays! This is going to be a crucial holiday season. When senators and members of congress head back to their districts for the break, what will their constituents tell them?
The Senate trial will probably come in the first part of the election year. This week’s testimony shattered any Republican defense based on the facts or law. But the key is did this week’s testimony move the needle for voters in key senate battleground states in 2020? There are potentially 16 such states, according to a variety of political sources; five owned and occupied by the Democrats and 11 owned and operated by the Republicans. One of them is Mitch McConnell’s seat in Kentucky.
Former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath is running against the majority leader. She was the first female Marine Corps pilot to fly the F/A - 18 on a combat mission. But she isn’t the kind of veteran Trump supports. He has nothing on her. He never had to pardon her for war crimes.
If the race in Kentucky gets tight, if this week’s testimony in the House did move the needle in key states at risk for the GOP next year, then sometime after the first of the year Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be in the Oval Office for a private meeting with Donald Trump.
If the needle hasn’t moved enough, Trump will be told to relax. If the needle has moved significantly and threatens either the status of the majority caucus or McConnell’s own race, then Trump will face the most difficult decision he’s ever made.
The fate of the Republic could rest on his answer. But that’s just as Donald Trump wants it. He wants to be the star of his own reality show in which he gets to make the ultimate gamble.
Part of him has to love it, but that part grows smaller by the day as reality crashes in.