Article(s) of Impeachment

We are about three weeks into the Trump administration and, for all the hand-wringing and gnashing-of-the-teeth, it has not really accomplished anything of substance. President Obama, you see, suffered similar (not criminal acts-related) slings and arrows from the media and the public — but the trade-off was successful financial and healthcare reform.

Most Obama alumni would tell you that it was worth it. Also, you’re welcome.

But that doesn’t matter.

The general feeling in this chamber of Congress is that President Donald J. Trump is an impeachment waiting to happen. So few of my Republican colleagues will say it out loud, but they feel it coming in the way you feel heat from a bonfire that is a few feet away.

The end of Flynn didn’t take anyone here as a surprise — I work with people that have been on Capitol Hill for well over a decade and they know that you pay a price for doing what Flynn did. But should we celebrate it as a political victory? I don’t think so. The thing that took Flynn down is…disturbing.

See, his resignation is a canary-in-the-coal-mine moment for our country: the president’s National Security Adviser resigned because he was caught communicating with Russian officials and possibly undermining then-President Obama’s sanctions. But, much as we Hillfolk dislike President Trump, nobody wants to see him undone and indicted for coordinating with Russia to undermine the United States’ democratic processes. If it turns out Flynn’s phone calls to the ambassador was authorized at the highest levels of the Trump transition team, however, Congressional leadership (and staff) will have no choice but to move to indict the president’s most senior advisers.

And perhaps the president himself.

In 1974, as the House and Senate Committees were working on impeaching and likely indicting the president, very few Democratic Members of Congress took pleasure in knowing that the presidency of their great nemesis Richard Nixon was imploding. He was heading for an indictment in the House and a conviction in the Senate. But these Representatives and Senators knew that the cost for that moment de triomphe was Americans’ near-total loss of confidence in their government.