Democrats should initiate impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

At the moment, it looks highly unlikely that Republicans in the Senate would vote to remove him. The threat that they likely would is what motivated Richard Nixon to resign in 1974. Bill Clinton knew he was safe from removal when the House voted to impeach him because he could rely on the Democrats in the Senate to vote to acquit him in what most of the public saw as a partisan hatchet job.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would refuse to hold a trial of the allegations in the House’s impeachment of Trump. The Constitution merely says, “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.” That confers the power, but does not require the body to exercise it. Given that McConnell refused even to consider the last Supreme Court nomination of President Barack Obama and has played loyal butt boy to Trump since Trump took office, it would be entirely consistent for him just to refuse to hold a trial.

So, barring some really earth shattering developments, along the lines of the transcripts of Nixon’s Oval Office conversations showing a clear plan to scuttle the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break in — it seems reasonable to suspect that evidence of worse crimes by Trump lurk, yet unrevealed to the public — impeaching Trump now likely will not result in his removal from office, which is deeply regrettable, given the damage he causes daily with his puerile, petulant approach to playing president.

But impeachment proceedings would offer the Democrats in the House an opportunity to delve deeply into Trump’s various misdeeds, and we cannot know for sure that the impeachment investigation itself might not produce the evidence to sway Republicans in the Senate. It was the investigation into the Watergate break in that produced the information that Nixon routinely recorded conversations in the Oval Office, which in turn led to the production of the damning transcripts.

One interesting similarity/difference between the Clinton impeachment and any Trump impeachment is that the impeachment of Clinton was the direct result of a long investigation by a special counsel, who arguably ventured well beyond his initial brief by delving into the details of a sexual harassment law suit against Clinton, which in turn produced the lie that he had not had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. That special counsel investigation never ended with the conviction of a single person for any crimes.

The similarity to any Trump impeachment is that a special counsel has been investigating the Trump campaign’s interaction with Russian actors for nearly two years now. The difference is that Robert Mueller, the Trump special counsel, has already secured multiple guilty pleas and tangentially resulted in one finding of guilt at trial. Further, Clinton’s underlying offense, an extramarital affair, no matter how tawdry and embarrassing some of the specific events undoubtedly were, in no way involves any powers peculiar to the president. Any married man can, in theory, have an affair. In contrast, only the president, whether Nixon or Trump, can try to stop an FBI investigation.

So impeachment proceedings in the House could easily produce important evidence that would then offer even more support than currently exists for the impeachment, potentially including sufficient reason for Republicans in the Senate to decide to remove him.

Impeachment proceedings in the House would also further weaken Trump politically, making it harder for him to pursue his noxious agenda, giving the House more power to pursue other investigations of him and his toadies.

Impeach the motherfucker.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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