Trump: Act, or Be Impeached!

By D. J. Webb

It’s very disheartening to see Donald Trump make no headway in the US. He has achieved less than he promised but apparently wanted to do more. He planned immediate recognition of Russian Crimea and a restoration of good links with Russia on day one, and planned a Muslim entry ban. Yet both have been stymied.

It actually doesn’t make any difference if you approve or disapprove of those two policies. Something larger is at stake: can someone ever come to power and really change things? Or does the “deep state” (the permanent civil service) ultimately have the power to prevent change. From this point of view, this does concern social and political freedom.

The constitutional separation of powers has its good points, but in any democracy the elected government must be able to effect its policy programme. In the US, the executive is quite powerful on paper. The judiciary is the least powerful, at least in design, as it has no armed forces with which to enforce its decisions. Yet we see that the legislature (in particular, the failure of Republicans in Congress to back Trump) and the judiciary (and its assumption of power over immigration policy) grab power from Trump, in what is shaping up to be a rather weak administration.

James Comey at the FBI clearly planned to prevent the normalization of links with Russia: this has been put on the back-burner while an interminable investigation that has yet to uncover any proof of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian hackers proceeds to undermine the president. Trump can’t close down the investigation without being accused of “obstruction of justice”.

It must be understood that impeachment is a political process. A president can be impeached for picking his nose if two-thirds of the Senate agree, so “obstruction of justice” isn’t a crime that would automatically lead to Trump’s dismissal. All that matters is whether the Congressmen deem it to be sufficiently serious to launch an impeachment process. If the Democrats take the House of Representatives in the mid-terms, they can launch an impeachment process (but not win it, without larger support in the Senate).

They’re running rings round him. The Russia inquiry is treason: it is a plot by the civil service to prevent an elected government from executing the platform it openly campaigned on. I would, even now, close down the FBI inquiry, and explain in a televised address that this is “obstruction of treason”. I would then recognize Russian possession of the Crimea, lift sanctions on Russia, move the embassy to Jerusalem, and do a few other things that the liberals have sought to prevent.

The FBI is part of the executive, and as Comey stated to Congress, the president can instruct the FBI to stop any investigation he likes, although Comey said this would contravene “norms” (i.e. contravene conventions and values—but not the law). Why is Trump allowing them to investigate him? And to do so when the whole point is to prevent the implementation of policy American voters voted for?

It is a sad thing to see what is happening. But even now, if he reverses some of his U-turns, the average Americans who voted for him will support him and make it hard for Republican traitors to let him down. Otherwise, he is on a one-way track to impeachment. How can any of us expect to achieve anything through democratic means if America won’t allow an electoral result to have real consequences for national policy?

7 thoughts on “Trump: Act, or Be Impeached!

  1. “Or does the “deep state” (the permanent civil service) ultimately have the power to prevent change.”

    Yeppers. US presidents can only set a limited domestic social policy agenda as he still needs congress for most policy. Gun rights, gay rights stuff, abortion funding and some business regulations the president can do with EOs. I still vote though.

    The US is a Democratic Oligarchy. The majority of policy benefits a limited group of influential individuals at the cost of average voters.

    I’m not sure what if any country has a better setup currently. But as long as Americas are fat and happy nothing is going to change.

  2. The encouraging thing is that many Americans are not going to take this lying down. We british just grumble about things and carry on. I think that is a consequence of the climate – the weather is something we constantly grumble about but can do nothing to change, and we apply the same process to politics. Americans, on the other hand, can and do change things if they want to. The fact that a man like Trump is in the White House at all is testament to that. Now I see a country hopelessly divided; on the one hand we have constant protests and rioting by trouble-makers who simply cannot accept that Trump won the election. On the other, we have the various conservatives and Trump supporters who are becoming increasingly angry at seeing their democratic wishes frustrated. I think America really is becoming impossible to govern as one country.

  3. Actually a president who knows the law inside-outside could do a number of important things:

    The simple and obvious start he can make is to repeal all executive orders made by Obama, where it is sensible to do so and to the extent they are current.
    He could abolish the entire federal tax code, if he wanted to.
    He can dismiss administrative judges, civil servants and military officers (and, optionally, appoint new ones) for political reasons, or for any other reason, or no reason (though not all such dismissals would be without prejudice). He can also, of course, nominate new federal judges and Supreme Court justices.
    He can order the deportation of all illegal immigrants without in-jurisdiction due process, and he can withhold federal government services from sanctuary cities, should they refuse or fail to co-operate. He can defray the costs of these deportations by ordering U.S. law enforcement agents to seize and confiscate the property of illegal immigrants.
    While he cannot actually eliminate government agencies and departments, he can shut them down by de-funding them and taking other informal measures to exclude them from the loop of government and render them redundant.
    While he has no or limited power or say over the Federal Reserve, its operations and mission (these are matters in the hands of the relevant Congressional committees), he does appoint and dismiss the Board of the Federal Reserve and he also has the executive power to create government money and thereby by-pass the Federal Reserve money-creating functions.
    He can stop imports from other countries – for example, Mexico – and can order the closure of the border. He can deploy and re-deploy troops along the border with Mexico.
    He can order the federal government not to enforce certain laws.

    And that’s before we even get into the informal influence he has that arises naturally from his position and his ability to appoint and dismiss government officials. So either Trump is a coward, or he needs new government lawyers. Not that I would necessarily blame him for that type of cowardice. I certainly wouldn’t want to swap places with him. Should he take any of the above measures, he will be shot, or if he is lucky, impeached and convicted.

    It was always clear that a Trump presidency would be business as usual, however, I still believe Trump is an improvement on the alternative. What matters about Trump is what he doesn’t do, not what he will do. The Trump presidency is about the mood music, which is subtly changing. Obama didn’t actually really change much for his base, but America has taken a definite shift leftward as a result of his presidency, the effects of which will be felt for some time: not least in the Supreme Court appointments he made. The same observation can be made about Trump.

    Realistically, you can’t expect more from Trump, simply because he is vested in the American capitalist system and he is a debtor to the major banking and financial interests there. The American system of government is also rather complex, and notwithstanding my observations above about the considerable powers and influences open to a president, it does take time to change things.

    • Thank you, Ilana. I don’t use Twitter, but for what it’s worth it is @djwebb1969 . The timeline has a number of posts relating to my study of Irish Gaelic. I try to keep long arguments on Twitter to a minimum, as it is pointless arguing with them.

  4. I agree with you. Trump appears to be playing damage control on one issue after another. If he continues with this he won’t even finish out his current term as president. He needs to hit hard on all fronts and continuously open up new fronts of attack against the establishment. He’s allowing himself to be immobilized, and the establishment is circling around him now as they await an opportunity to deliver the final blow.

    His line of attack need not exclude members of his own party. He should endeavor to destroy the likes of Lindsay Graham and John McCain in the eyes of their respective constituents and endorse republican opponents to run against them in the next Congressional elections. He ought to be drawing up a list right this moment of everyone in his own party whose congressional seats will be contested in the next election and who cannot be counted upon. He should additionally be crafting another list of potential candidates to oppose them. Then he ought to deliver these lists, in as public a spectacle as possible, to the American people ahead of the Congressional elections. “If you want those policies which you voted for in November,” he should say, “don’t waste a single vote on these traitors. Instead, consider casting your vote for these patriots.”

  5. Yes, I agree, Tormod, but then Trump would need to start fulfilling his campaign promises in order to appeal to Trumpland over the heads of the Republican Party.

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