Here’s What REALLY Happens When (Not If) Trump Is Removed From Office

You can’t cheat an honest man, and you can’t steal an election from voters dumb enough to give it to you — but the DNC hack was a crime. Trump was either an accomplice or an accessory or possibly a co-conspirator. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I’m pretty sure treason is more than on the menu — it’s prix fixe in a private room with guys to whom “rendition” and “black sites” aren’t just dialogue in action movies.

By any sane measure, Trump’s crimes should invalidate the election and not leave the Republican leadership as sore winners with Pence. There is no contest — no game, no sport, no test, no job application — none in which cheating is not an automatic forfeit. Doper Lance Armstrong was forced to open his trophy case and clear out his championships even though he won them with his own body and his own mind and his one testicle.

On paper the next occupant of the Oval Office must follow the order of succession: VP, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and so on. On paper that’s correct. But Trump probably knows that, Putin knows that, and certainly Trump’s pet Nazi Steve Bannon knows that.

Trump has poisoned them all, I think, to keep them from betraying him. He’s told them everything and made them accessories. At the very least he’s made them guilty of failure to report. He’s strapped them inside his own suicide vest and dared them to pull the ripcord. It’s what Putin would’ve told him to do. Treachery and revenge are as Russian as vodka and borscht. It’s what Chaos-Bringer-in-Chief Steve Bannon would’ve told him to do. Worst-case scenario is Bannon’s best-case scenario: “deconstruction of the administrative state,” or blasting the entire U.S. government to kablooey.

I know for sure it’s what I would’ve told him to do.

There are limited options for removing a President from office. One, of course, is impeachment by Congress, so Trump’s told Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, too. Jeff Sessions was inside Trump’s circle on the campaign, so that locks up the DOJ (except for Comey and the FBI). Probably Jason “But Her Emaaails” Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee. Nunes was with the campaign but not inside, and his recent stuttering bumblefuck press conferences exemplify the reasons why.

Definitely, certainly, absolutely, you-bet-your-booties Trump’s told Pence. Trump’s probably tattooed it all over Pence’s body like in Memento. As Vice-President, next in line, Pence has the most to gain by ratting Trump out.

The Republican Party will continue to tolerate Trump as long as he keeps signing whatever they put in front of him: giveaways to the oil and gas industry like the entire EPA and so on. (Dumbbunny Betsy DeVos is sister to Trump advisor and Putin go-between Erik Prince. So her appointment as Secretary of Education — and subsequent handouts to DeVos connections in school construction and food service and every other school maintenance contract — that one’s on Trump.)

The GOP’s problem, though, is they have to get people to vote for them for the next 20 years. Trump doesn’t give a damn about that. He wants to nuke Obamacare for no other reason than it’s got Obama’s name on it. It drives him crazier than he already is. But many Republican voters have stumbled out of the fog of Sean Hannity’s sauna and discovered government can, y’know, work when you hire people who don’t want to chop it into pieces for Halliburton Stew. Many, many Trump voters hate-hate-HATE Obamacare but they looooove the Affordable Care Act. And Republicans have the 2018 midterms to win.

In 2018, every single seat in the House and one-third the seats in the Senate are up for reelection. The Republican Party simply will not allow the teeny-tiniest possibility for Democrats to win not only Congress but a supermajority in both houses that allows them to do whatever the hell they want, with no opposition, not even a veto.

As in the campaign, the party will hold their noses and hope Trump’s stink doesn’t get on their suits — as long as the voters love him.

Trump’s not smart enough to be sinister, but the only book anyone can ever remember him reading (according to Ivana Trump before her NDA) is a collection of Hitler’s speeches, over and over.

Like Silly Putty on the Sunday funnies, he’s picked up some of Der Fuehrer’s playbook: destroy the credibility of your accusers (the intelligence community), the so-called judiciary, and the fake-news press till your voice is the only one your followers hear.

Then, as of this writing, neutralize the government itself by alleging pre-election conspiracies by “Obama holdouts.” If the FBI starts jingling handcuffs on the ends of their fingers, Trump will call them “Obama’s people” and suffer zero losses in approval points.

McConnell and Ryan, I think, have Trump’s tax returns. They’re easy to get but it’s against the law to disclose them. His lawyers wouldn’t have declared something illegal on his returns, but they’re probably quite a road map to locking down the details on his relationships with Russia.

Worse, though, in Trump’s eyes, it makes something else crystal-clear; his crystal isn’t Swarovski but cut glass. He’s broke. He’s all debt and no assets. He’s not a billionaire, not a businessman, not the winningest winner in the history of winning.

(At his Comedy Central Roast, on the contracts stating what comedians could joke about, nearly everything was on the table: divorces, sex life, hair, TV shows, whatever. Except one: they couldn’t say he’s not rich. They couldn’t suggest he doesn’t have as much money as he claims he has. Snowflake much, Scrooge McDuck?)

So: as long as Trump stays popular, Republicans cover his butt. Once he’s not, they show his ass. GOP donors will demand it. The Koch Brothers won’t throw McConnell and Ryan under the bus. They’ll kick out their limo drivers and roll over the two of them personally. McConnell and Ryan will do soft, white-dude time and get their payouts and write books that conservatives put on their nicked coffee tables but never read.

If it all goes south and the Republicans lose the next Presidential election — well, in four to eight years, the Koch Brothers will still get their tax cuts and energy industry handouts— after the next crop of voters “need change” — because conservatives never, never, never learn.

So — if all the above figures are in fact part of the conspiracy and removed from office themselves — and if the Democrats can’t pull of an emergency Constitutional amendment allowing for this unique circumstance — we get President Pro Tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch. But —

— if whatever plea deal Trump makes to stay out of Supermax prison doesn’t include naming Hillary as Vice-President first, this country will tear itself apart at the seams till not even the Hulk’s loincloth is left.

Andrew Bryan Smith received an honorary degree in theoretical math from a fictional university. Currently he’s writing a sequel to the remake of an adaptation of a movie that was never made from a TV series that never aired. He hopes to turn the project into a trilogy, releasing the sequel first, a prequel second, and finally a spin-off of unrelated characters inspired by the original work. Andy lives in Los Angeles, or so it seems. Follow him on Twitter @doitinprivate.