Donald Trump’s entirely predictable reaction to the news that House Democrats are finally pursuing an investigation for the purpose of impeaching him daily provides yet more evidence of why he is entirely unfit to serve as president and more reason to remove him via impeachment.
During a recent press conference with the president of Finland, Trump lashed out at Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who just issued several subpoenas to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying that Schiff couldn’t carry Pompeo’s “blank strap,” which only makes sense as a reference to a jock strap.
Never in the history of the republic has a sitting president referred to anyone’s jock strap during a press conference. This is wildly inappropriate and hugely embarrassing. The republic should not have to endure the humiliation of a man, playing at being president, talking about jock straps in public at all, much less during a press conference with a foreign dignitary present.
The bigger problem is what Trump’s reaction to the recent news overall tells us about him. Since Trump became president, a phrase common among prosecutors, but not the general public, has appeared repeatedly in discussions of the so called president and his minions: “consciousness of guilt.” When they investigate crimes and interview suspects, one thing police and prosecutors look for is actions and statements that suggest the subject knows they are guilty and betraying that knowledge unwittingly with how they respond.
No one should find surprising that a person as devoid of self awareness as Trump would repeatedly reveal consciousness of his guilt with his childish, embarrassing reactions to the allegations against him.
We know that Trump has zero understanding of law or legal procedures and thus could not foresee how damning the summary of his call with Ukrainian president Zelensky would be. What is more distressing is that apparently some of the White House staff agreed with the idea of releasing that summary — until they saw the reaction, at which point, they realized their mistake. Um, whoops.
It does seem reasonable to infer that some one of these White House staff people was the person who accidentally sent out their talking points on the imbroglio to Democratic members of Congress. Um, double whoops.
Of course, staff ineptitude usually reflects management ineptitude, and the so called president is a walking case study in managerial ineptitude, so we should perhaps not find this pair of errors terribly surprising.
So, in Trump’s case, “consciousness of guilt” is not exactly right, because he is devoid of any understanding of the idea of law, or of any rules that might apply to him, entirely. He certainly has zero understanding of the United States government under our Constitution or how it is supposed to work.
As with the revelations in the summary of the Zelensky call, which Trump says was “perfect,” Trump has no idea that he is guilty of anything. His various reactions do indicate, however, that he is very, um, concerned about the prospect of the House impeaching him, which on its face only makes sense. One doubts Trump knows this, but only two presidents, Andrew Johnson just after the Civil War, and Bill Clinton in 1999, have actually undergone full impeachments. Trump’s most obvious political ancestor, Richard Nixon, chose to resign after the House Judiciary Committee voted out an article of impeachment and prominent Republicans warned him that the Senate would likely vote to remove him.
This is not a group anyone would want to join.
The problem Trump has is that his characteristically insane, childish responses to the news of possible impeachment make it hard to believe that he is not entirely guilty of nearly any crime anyone has ever alleged about him. That claim is far from sufficient to justify removing him from office, but the House has all manner of potential crimes to investigate that would justify removing him.
He is like a boy who keeps picking at a scab — no matter how many adults tell him to leave it alone, he just can’t resist.
Does one need to say that we do not need a boy as president.