In the last several weeks, there have been numerous revelations surrounding the Trump Administration, its possible collusion with Russian officials and its relationship to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Various news sources have confirmed the bizarre series of events unfolding inside the White House.
According to the Washington Post, President Trump told Russian officials that firing former FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him, calling Comey “a nut job.”
Comey, conversely, disclosed that Trump had asked him to “lay off” the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who has since invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid giving Congress a record of his communication with Russian officials over the last year, according to CNN.
Trump also asked the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency to tell the public there was “no evidence of collusion” between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
A senior intelligence official told reporters Trump’s goal was to “muddy the waters” regarding the FBI investigation and other officials have confirmed that Trump “does not care about maintaining such boundaries” between himself and the FBI.
Special counsel has been appointed by the Justice Department to investigate the situation, which has laid eyes on a senior White House official close to the president.
According to USA Today, the president has since hired private attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him concerning matters related to the investigation.
If, from all of this, you’re expecting impeachment and removal, be patient.
While there’s been a lot of fuss recently from House Democrats finally speaking about impeaching President Trump, it will likely be much longer before there’s a full, fair public accounting.
Trump and his administration have clearly obstructed justice and misled the public. The events outlined above are ample evidence of wrongdoing. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, acting as special counsel, should show no mercy toward Trump and others in his administration.
But the bureaucracy is thick and the days are long.
Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution, which allows for impeachment, has only been invoked three times in our nation’s history. Presidents have been charged with various crimes, ranging from illegally removing a public official from office, to obstruction of justice, to perjury.
While it sounds like Trump may have committed several of those crimes, impeachment requires a majority in the House of Representatives and removal from office requires two-thirds of the Senate, both of which are Republican-controlled bodies that won’t act against Trump unless absolutely necessary.
As Trump himself once said at a campaign rally in Iowa last year, “I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
In all likelihood, Trump will serve a full, four-year term. Like former President Richard Nixon, we would need taped recordings of his intention to explicitly obstruct justice. And, according to an analysis from the Washington Post, we’ll probably never see them.
Like Nixon, though, Donald Trump might resign.
However, it’s worth noting that after Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward published information tying one of the Watergate thieves to White House special counsel Charles Colson, Nixon was still able to win re-election by one of the largest margins in history.
In fact, it took another 11 months after Woodward’s publication until a special prosecutor was appointed and another 15 months after that until Nixon resigned.
While a Nixon and Trump comparison isn’t entirely congruent, the Editorial Board cautions against getting too excited about the prospect of uttering the words “former President Donald Trump.” You probably won’t get to say them until 2021.
And even if the sun does set early on the Trump Administration, you might find that the words “President Mike Pence” taste fouler.