Scalzi on Impeachment

Of course, this is just going to make Trump more, well, Trump. The man has never understood why people wouldn’t just let him be king, and narcissists never react well to blows to the ego. If you think he’s lost his shit and been completely unreasonable before, just you wait. Things are going to get worse, much worse, especially if, in fact, Speaker Pelosi frustrates McConnell’s plan for a rubber-stamp acquittal in the Senate. And while there is some schadenfreude to be had with Trump spinning in tight, angry circles about this, at the end of the day he’s still president, he’s still a petty, vindictive little shit of a human, and he has enablers. Expect bad news from this dude. More than usual, I mean, and including directives and policies and proclamations that will energize his most bigoted and violent supporters.”

-John Scalzi, “Impeachment Thoughts.” Whatever. December 19, 2019.

John Scalzi says everything that needs to be on the topic of impeachment.

Barbara Jordan on Impeachment

The Carolina ratification convention impeachment criteria: those are impeachable ‘who behave amiss or betray their public trust.’

Beginning shortly after the Watergate break-in and continuing to the present time, the President has engaged in a series of public statements and actions designed to thwart the lawful investigation by government prosecutors. Moreover, the President has made public announcements and assertions bearing on the Watergate case, which the evidence will show he knew to be false. These assertions, false assertions, impeachable, those who misbehave. Those who ‘behave amiss or betray the public trust.’

James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: ‘A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.'”

-Barbara Jordan, “Statement at the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearings.”
Washington, D.C. – July 25, 1974

The Trump-Zelensky Conversation

“For present purposes, it suffices to note that the text of the memo offers not a whiff of support for the president’s claims about what he did. That text unambiguously reflects conduct intolerable in a president in a number of different respects. And it does so in five brief, easy-to-understand pages, in which Trump clearly seeks to recruit a foreign head of state to violate the civil liberties of American citizens and uncover dirt on a potential political opponent in the 2020 presidential election. For everyone who breathed a sigh of relief that the Mueller report did not establish presidential ‘collusion’ with Russia in 2016, the White House itself has announced with this release that the president himself has already engaged in such collusion with Ukraine for the next election cycle—and what’s more, he is putting the powers of the American presidency to that purpose.”

—Scott R. Anderson, et al. “Self-Impeaching: On the Trump-Zelensky Conversation.” Lawfare. September 25, 2019.

This Lawfare blog post does a pretty good job of covering the implications of the Trump-Zelensky transcript. It’s important to realize that the call itself was just part of what happened. For example, there’s the cover-up. The transcript of the call was transferred to a system for classified information to reduce the number of people that could see it. It also implies further involvement by Rudy Giuliani and Bob Barr that is probably criminal as well. Interesting times.