In a new Op-Ed for the Washington Post, anti-Trump husband of Kellyanne Conway argues it’s likely Democrats will have to impeach President Trump again.
“So we’ll probably have to do it again.”
So said the already-once-impeached President Donald Trump on Thursday in the East Room, musing about the possibility he could become the first president to be impeached more than once. And on the very next day, as though he were competing for it, Trump showed precisely why he could be destined to achieve that ignominious fate.
With essentially no pretense about why he was doing it, the president brazenly retaliated Friday against two witnesses who gave truthful testimony in the House’s impeachment inquiry. He fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. And he also fired a third man, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, merely for being the brother of the first. Trump essentially admitted his retaliatory motive on Saturday, when he tweeted that he sacked Vindman in part for having “reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly.”
If this were a criminal investigation, and Alexander Vindman and Sondland had given their testimony to a grand jury, this Friday Night Massacre could have been a crime. At the very least, it ought to be impeachable: If Richard Nixon was to be impeached for authorizing hush money for witnesses, and Trump himself was actually impeached for directing defiance of House subpoenas, then there should be no doubt that punishing witnesses for complying with subpoenas and giving truthful testimony about presidential misconduct should make for a high crime or misdemeanor as well.
But it’s really not about this one day, or this one egregious act. It’s about who Trump is, who he always was and who he always will be. It’s about the complete mismatch between the man and the office he holds.
It’s about the fact that the presidency is a fiduciary position, the ultimate public trust. And that Trump’s narcissism won’t allow him to put anyone else’s interests above his own, including the nation’s. Indeed, he can’t even distinguish between his interests and the nation’s — and doesn’t need to, according to his lawyers and now the judgment of the Senate.
As Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said during the impeachment trial, “you know you can’t trust this president to do what is right for this country. You can trust he will do what is right for Donald Trump. He will do it now. He has done it before.”
And he will do it again. He did do it again by firing the Vindmans and Sondland. He’s telling us he will do it again. And no one can seriously doubt it, even those who voted to acquit. The ever-hopeful Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said last week that she was voting to acquit partly because she thought Trump had learned “a pretty big lesson” from being impeached, quickly backtracked to say she was merely being “aspirational.”
“Fantastical” would better describe it, actually. On Thursday, Trump portrayed himself as the innocent victim: “Went through hell, unfairly. Did nothing wrong.” It was “a very good phone call.” “I call it a ‘perfect call’ because it was.”
On the flip side, Trump called his impeachment “evil,” “corrupt,” brought about by “dirty cops,” “leakers and liars” and, in general, “very evil and sick people.” “They made up facts.” “It was a disgrace.”
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