The impeachment of Donald Trump is more likely than a lot of people realize. While the Democrats are over the moon at finally getting something on the President to hang on him, the reality is the Republicans who will ultimately decide Trump’s fate.
Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. There is no legal standard for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as stipulated in the Constitution. That definition will stand on what the nominally Republican-controlled Senate think.
That Trump is facing this attack reflects him doing a few things anathema to his political opposition, and they have all hit nearly at the same time:
- He pursued Joe Biden’s own admission of pressuring Ukraine publicly to fire a prosecutor investigating his son Hunter Biden.
- Trump’s State Dept., for all its faults, was finishing its review of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail trove. The Washington Post tried to get in front of it with this highly quoted report.
- Trump fired his incompetent and bloodthirsty National Security Adviser John Bolton in the wake of the Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq facility on September 14th.
- Trump refuses to give up on diplomacy with North Korea and Iran, steadfastly refusing to go to war.
For these ‘crimes’ and others, Trump is, in my analysis, likely to be impeached. And the reasons have nothing to do with his guilt vis a vis abusing his office.
Trump is fully within his rights to inquire about criminal activity of government officials. It doesn’t matter if one of them is his political opposition. That is a consequence of him holding the office.
But that doesn’t matter because Ukraine is too hot an issue to be allowed for him to take control over. For the past six years the US has been actively involved in Ukrainian politics to turn it against Russia.
Obama’s involvement goes back before even the chemical weapons attack in E. Ghouta which nearly ended in a US coalition invasion of Syria which both the British Parliament (by refusing David Cameron) and Vladimir Putin staved off.
EU accession talks with Ukraine were going on at the same time and Putin thwarted them with his deal with President Yanukovych. Three months later Victoria Nuland was on the Maidan handing out cookies.
Ukraine is a cesspit of US meddling from several angles, including Joe Biden’s quid pro quos. Former President Petro Poroshenko was a US asset who performed admirably in implementing the worst provocations to justify a shooting war with Russia over Crimea and the Black Sea during his reign.
So many US foreign policy imperatives are at stake in Ukraine. And one always must ask the question, “Why this, why now?”
We are getting down to crunch time on the expiration of the gas transit contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz which expires at the end of the year. The US is putting every roadblock imaginable up between Presidents Zelensky and Putin to keep that deal from getting extended and/or renegotiated.
At the same time the Danish government is under extreme pressure from the US to deny Nordstream 2 a final environmental permit to complete the pipeline. Why is Danske Bank suddenly back in the news on money laundering charge, originally brought up by none other than Bill Browder last year? The CEO of that Estonian branch where all the ‘hanky panky’ took place goes missing and winds up dead at the same time?
There is an implicit threat that Danske could bring down then entire Danish banking system.
And there’s no connection here?
The goal of these two pressure points is to put Gazprom in the position to not be able to fulfill its contractual obligations to European customers. Nordstream 2 is the replacement for volumes crossing Ukraine. So, stopping both is essential to undermining Gazprom in the minds of European consumer and giving the EU the ammunition to bring lawsuits against the company for failing to deliver.
This is explicitly the strategy at work here. Trump wants more US access to Europe’s gas market and it’s clear he wants Russia to have either Ukraine’s volumes or Nordstream 2’s but not both. The Deep State doesn’t want them to have either.
But, most importantly, from Trump’s perspective, Poroshenko assisted in building the fake RussiaGate attack on President Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton which led to Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel and paralyzing Trump on foreign policy for more than two years.
Now that Mueller is in the rearview, Trump, through his Attorney General, William Barr, have begun investigations into all of this and more. So, it comes as no surprise to me that Trump is getting sincere pushback from the Deep State.
Do I think Trump is dirty? Yes. Do I think he’s dirty vis a vis Ukraine? No.
The Democrats are pulling a typical Alinsky move of accusing Trump of the very thing they are guilty of, using their political offices to secure favors for personal gain and advantage.
This is to deflect and get in front of the real crimes here. And they know that Trump is coming for them.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Davos) sat on this ‘whistleblower’s’ complaint for more than six weeks even though it was marked “URGENT.” Why is that? Why would he who was so hot to impeach Trump wait until now versus early August to spring this on the world?
Because the timing wasn’t right. They needed some way to distract from what’s coming down the pike and keep the country distracted. Schiff is protecting an obvious CIA asset improperly and illegally embedded in the White House to spy on Trump.
This whole thing is an elaborate set up. And this is the reason why I think Trump is in serious trouble if he doesn’t have smoking guns on these people and can bring them to bear before they fast track this thing through the Congress and Senate.
What I said at the outset is the most important. Impeachment is a political process.
The House will impeach Trump. That’s a given. They want it. And they see it as a way to hurt him and gain the White House. They know their field of candidates is terrible and this is the Hail Mary to win.
But this is bigger than that. The shenanigans in Ukraine cut across so many different fiefdoms in the US government that a lot of people fear what happens if Trump isn’t removed from the White House.
So, when I do the calculus it is as follows. The Democrats have 47 votes in the Senate. They need 20 to find Trump guilty. The first five votes against him are easy: Mitt Romney, who is as implicated as Biden is over Burisma, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio.
These are arch Neocons and are hopping mad at Trump for refusing to attack Iran for Israel.
Getting another 15 votes doesn’t really seem that hard does it?
Look, the GOP has not helped Trump one whit since he’s been President. They have left him to twist in the wind on every issue unless he’s backing more war and more military adventurism. That is the bottom line.
And if the calculus is that backing him means implicating themselves and who they are beholden to Trump is toast, right or wrong.
The GOP has been nothing but an albatross around Trump’s neck from the beginning. They will very likely rollover here and allow Mike Pence to play the part of Gerald Ford against whoever the Democrats put up.
I’ve given Trump a lot of grief over his foreign policy and personnel choices because he’s deserved it. But, for all of his faults, his instincts about keeping the wars to a low simmer have held sway.
This tactic by his opponents reeks of desperation and cover up. It smells like a coup, no different than the Mueller investigation. When the stakes are this high it is better to expect the worst rather than the middle ground. Because as bad as Trump is he is far better than what comes next.