The Law Can’t Stop Trump. Only Impeachment Can.

o From:,  by Jonathan Chait,  on May 15, 2017

Shortly after the Washington Post’s devastating report that President Trump “revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador” and “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State,” Republicans in Congress began to weigh in. “We certainly don’t want any president to leak classified information but the president does have the right to do that,” insisted Senator John McCain. “It’s no longer classified the minute he utters it,” explained Senator Jim Risch.

The argument was eerily familiar. Trump, as his supporters pointed out, had a legal right to fire FBI Director James Comey. Likewise legal, Trump’s decision to hold on to his vast and non-transparent business empire, the value of which he can increase through his powers as president. (“The law’s totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” he exulted.) That is true, and the legality Trump enjoys extends much further than even his supporters have suggested. Since the president can pardon anybody, probably including himself, he can operate with hardly any legal restraint at all.

The president has a massive amount of leeway because the system is set up with the unstated presumption that the president is a responsible person who will act in a broadly legitimate, competent fashion. Trump’s brief tenure in office so far has supplied a constant stream of evidence that this reasoning does not apply. Fears that Trump could not be trusted with classified intelligence have circulated among allies and the American intelligence community since his election. “U.S. officials and analysts fear other countries will hesitate to share information with a Kremlin-friendly Trump administration,” reported Politico’s Nahal Toosi in January. “Israeli intelligence officials are concerned that the exposure of classified information to their American counterparts under a Trump administration could lead to their being leaked to Russia and onward to Iran,” reported Haaretz that same month.” Now those fears have been vindicated. As one former senior intelligence official tells conservative Weekly Standard editor Stephen Hayes, “Sharing of another country’s intel w/o permission is one of the brightest red lines in the intel world.”

One of the oddities of the moment is that Republican officials who work closely with Trump almost uniformly regard him as wildly unfit for office. Trump’s gross unsuitability for office is the subtext of the constant stream of leaks that have emanated from his administration (and, before that, his campaign). James Comey told associates he found the president “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy,” reported the New York Times recently. A Republican close to the White House told the Washington Post Trump is “in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion.” A friend of Trump, trying to spin the latest debacle in the most forgiving way, tells Politico, “He doesn’t really know any boundaries. He doesn’t think in those terms … He doesn’t sometimes realize the implications of what he’s saying. I don’t think it was his intention in any way to share any classified information. He wouldn’t want to do that.” (This was offered as an alternative to the suspicion that Trump is deliberately undermining U.S. intelligence to benefit his Russian friends.)

And yet, outside the inner circle of Republicans with access to the commander-in-chief, Trump’s popularity remains respectable, even solid. The conservative base is largely unaware of the constant revelations of Trump’s gross incompetence, or has been trained to ignore them as propaganda emanating from the administration’s enemies in the deep state or the liberal media. In red America, Trump remains a hero at best, and a competent, normal president at worst.

And so, at the moment, Congress remains in the hands of a party that conceives of its role as Trump’s junior partner. His erratic behavior is disconcerting to them, but their pain is mostly private, and mostly confined to the risks it implies to their domestic agenda. The system is designed so that the only remedy for a president who cannot faithfully act in the public interest is impeachment. For the moment, that course of action — the only one that can save the country from the dire risk of its man-child president — is unfathomable to the Republicans who have a hammerlock on government.


I suspect that many of us who voted for Trump (out of necessity) are concerned with the magnitude (and number) of apparent mistakes he’s making. The real problem we have is that we don’t have a way to separate honest factual reporting of an incident from fake news designed to attack the president. Fortunately, we recognize that the leftist media doesn’t like Trump and will do anything to undermine him, and that includes deliberate misreporting of something to cast a negative light on the president. 

Trump Derangement Syndrome is in full bloom and has infected just about every major media outlet so that we can expect anything that they publish (or air) will be detrimental to Donald Trump.

As long as we are recognizing the TDS rampant throughout news providers, we can assume that a sizeable percent is pure bullshit and immediately dismiss it, it’s the remaining 50-60% that we are unsure about. Each day I see a new charge of some serious malfeasance committed by Trump. The problem faced by millions of us is that we know that the majority of the accusations are purely politically motivated and without merit. We simply can’t separate the true from the false with any degree of accuracy.

The ugly, nasty game of politics as it’s played in the United States in 2017, is cutthroat and take no prisoners. The people in charge of both parties have no compunctions about lying about anything. They’ll lie to convince us, the public, that Trump is lying about something and only our experience with the frequency of democrats lying about Trump can help us identify the truth. In many cases, the truth is whatever the media and democrats aren’t telling us.

It’s either go through the constant daily vetting of news stories, trying to identify what really happened OR, it’s about as accurate to ignore the media altogether, ignore what is reported about Trump, and go about your daily business ignorant of the cutthroat world of politics – until the next election.

Frankly, I’m not sure which option is more satisfying.


Categories: Political

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6 replies

  1. Well said, Garnet. The leftwing media is at war with this country, but their refusal to treat Trump with any smidgeon of objectivity has rightly earned them the distrust of just about everyone.

    As for Jonathan Chait and his concern that Trump is untrustworthy and isn’t fit for office, I say an Obama sycophant has no business criticizing Trump on the subject of trustworthiness or fitness for office. The following is an excerpt from a NYT review of a book Chait wrote about Obama:

    “In [Obama’s] corner will be Jonathan Chait of New York magazine and one of the country’s leading progressive voices, who has come to Obama’s defense with “Audacity,” a timely, trenchant and relentlessly argued book presenting the 44th president in terms that he himself would approve. Not only did Obama change America for the better, Chait writes, he also cemented a new policy infrastructure that will resist Trump’s efforts to tear it down.”

    So Chait applauds a POTUS who came to office with the express intent of undermining our Constitution, who has likely forced us onto the path of socialized healthcare against the will of at least half the country, who used his “pen and phone” to circumvent the law, who made lofty promises about healing the world but left it a disaster, who presided over the doubling of the nation’s debt, who increased the welfare rolls by tens of millions and who was dishonest as the day is long…..but he’s upset because TRUMP is unfit for office.

    I have my issues with Trump but no Obama-supporter has the credibility to make me believe they actually care about trustworthiness or fitness for office of the POTUS.


    • You’ve got it, CW. While it’s not yet to the point of being ignored, the left’s constant barrage of negative Trump reporting has to be generating a “boy cried wolf” impression on much of the public. Like you, I simply don’t believe what the media says anymore. They’re so obviously anti-Trump that any supposed objectivity has long since vanished – and many of us have noticed – that they’ve lost all credibility.


  2. When the talk about Russian collusion first began, I felt like I had a good grasp of it for a while, but then it grew into this avalanche of opinions from every talking head and news site out there. There’s so many players involved and so many leaks, I’m not sure if we need a referee or a plumber.

    Trump truly cares about this country, so I don’t think he would intentionally do anything that would harm the US, but he is extremely politically naïve and all those ‘smart’ people he brought with him aren’t helping matters. Then there’s one attack after another from the Dems in their efforts to undermine him, plus the turmoil in so many foreign countries. Who’s going to launch a rocket, push a button or drop a bomb?

    On top of all that, there are very few headlines and news reports that can be trusted. Trying to keep up with it all starts to overload one’s brain. All I can do is catch what I can, then sit back and watch the rest of it play out.


    • I wonder if the left isn’t depending on the public’s overload of negative reports about Trump. To them, whether true or false doesn’t matter only the perception that they’re able to force onto the public.


  3. It has come to a point where NOTHING the media claims as fact can be considered anything but propaganda. I have been a news junkie my whole life but as my wife recently stated ‘it’s hard to watch tp watch what’s going on and not be able to do anything about it.’ Imagine if an unaccountable media is actually able to take down a sitting President.


    • Agreed, prepper, and it’s kinda touch ‘n go as to whether the media can actually pull it off – I wouldn’t bet against them. I’ve got another post for today or tomorrow that details just how bad the media bias it – we all see it and recognize it, but a Harvard study proves it.

      Liked by 1 person

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