It’s not relevant, because the standard is criminal conduct, and we have many, many crimes to choose from, so we should impeach him immediately, but in case anyone was hoping for improvement from Donald Trump in his very poor performance as president, recent events only further confirm that he is entirely incorrigible.
He’s not getting any better, and there is no reason to think he ever will.
The most recent, and most public, crime Trump has committed is to solicit help from foreign actors in his campaign to win a second term in 2020. The Chair of the Federal Election Commission issued a statement on this topic recently:
“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept.”
But, if you’re Donald Trump, and your self-absorption is such that you have no concept of rules at all, much less of laws that should constrain you as president of the United States, no statement, no matter how strong or clear, will penetrate the fog of your mental illness.
The notorious letter describing the complaint from a whistleblower who is apparently some sort of U.S. intelligence official, makes exactly this allegation: that Trump solicited help from the president of Ukraine in investigating spurious allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and his son. Biden is currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, and therefore a possible opponent of Trump’s in 2020. That’s why the letter, along with the summary of the call that broadly confirms the claims in the whistleblower’s complaint, pushed Nancy Pelosi finally to support an investigation for the purpose of impeaching Trump.
Far from chastening the president, news that his actions have prompted an impeachment investigation have, predictably, prompted him to double down, claiming that the call in question was “perfect,” whatever that could mean, and very publicly committing the exact same crime, now calling on Chinese officials, as well as those in Ukraine, to investigate the Bidens.
Stupidity and intransigence, alone, are not reasons to impeach a president. The Constitution specifies, “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” So removal via impeachment requires criminal conduct. Neither stupidity nor intransigence are crimes.
Stupidity and intransigence in the form of publicly committing the same crime a second time, at least, does give even more reason for prosecutors — the leadership of the House of Representatives, in this case — to redouble their efforts to prevent yet more crimes by pursuing all legal means to bring the offender to justice.
We can only hope Pelosi’s commitment to impeachment is as “fierce” as one headline says it is.