Impeaching President Donald Trump is justified. Attempting to coerce the head of the FBI to end an investigation and firing him when he refused are obstructions of justice. Trump’s bragging that he fired the FBI head because of his refusal to end the Russian investigation are icing on the cake. While many want an immediate impeachment, Frugal Ron suggests patience.
There are four good reasons to let Trump stay in office for the time being. First, if we impeach and successfully throw Trump out of office now for obstructing justice, guilty people will go free. We need to know what Trump is trying to hide about his Russian connections. We need to identify and prosecute supporting players. Was the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus involved? These are questions we need answered. Punishments need to be so severe that successors will never accept help from foreign governments.
Second, besides identifying other guilty parties in the US, a vigorous investigation will uncover the Russian side of the equation. We need to know what the Russians did, why they did it and how they did it. We need to know if Trump’s associates were directly involved in the hacking. These investigations might go by the wayside if Trump is removed from office and people lose interest. While getting rid of Trump is a noble goal, we need to understand what the Russians did and make sure we prevent their interference in future elections,
Third, Trump is the perfect person to not enact the dangerous Republican agenda. Besides being the biggest liar in our political history, Trump is incredibly incompetent. He has so far proven incapable of accomplishing much of anything. Considering the Republican agenda of huge spending increases, unfathomable tax cuts and out of control deficits while taking from the poor and middle class and giving to the rich, Trump is the perfect president to not get anything done. A President Pence might have some hope of passing these atrocities.
For those innocents that think after removing Trump from office we’ll suddenly start preparing to mitigate climate change and we’ll drop plans to defund Planned Parenthood, I have a reality check for you. Ignoring climate science and data on the relationship of more available contraception and fewer abortions are Republican agenda ideas. Trump just happens to buy into them. Again, because of his incompetence and weak standing in polls, impeaching Trump increases the odds of Republicans enacting their agenda.
The only downside to keeping Trump in office is that he could blunder us into a war. This is definitely a risk, yet impeaching him while he still has a high level of popularity among Republicans presents other problems.
Let Trump twist in the wind, then impeach him
Fourth, throwing Trump out of office while he still has approval ratings in the upper 30’s is a mistake. Let his lies, arrogance and actions bury him. Then impeach him.
There are some parallels in history. Voters knew about the Watergate break-in and that President Richard Nixon couldn’t be trusted, but re-elected him in a landslide in 1972. The slow, methodical investigation into the Watergate burglary, cover-up and Nixon’s obstruction of justice eventually wore his popularity down to almost nothing. No one was sad to see him go and there was no divisiveness about his fate.
The Republican dilemma, post impeachment
What happens after Trump’s impeachment must make forward thinking Republicans (granted, not many of these exist), nervous for their party’s future. Gerald Ford’s (Nixon’s Vice President), first act after assuming the Presidency was to pardon Nixon for all of his crimes. Ford instantly became a lame-duck president. He passed no meaningful legislation during his term in office and lost the next election to Jimmy Carter. If Carter had been half as successful a president as he was as an ex-president, Republicans would probably have been out of office for at least 12 years.
If Trump is impeached after a long investigation and his popularity is at Nixon levels, Republicans are in a no-win quandary. A criminal trial could drag on for years with Trump possibly joining his associates in jail. Pardon him, and the damage is immediate and perhaps equally long lasting.