The nation is currently hostage between two warring camps. The aggressor and primary problem is the so called president, Donald Trump, who threw a temper tantrum and told Democratic leaders of Congress recently that he would cooperate with them on no legislation until they stopped exercising their responsibility to conduct oversight of the executive branch by investigating the crimes the president and several of his toadies have committed.
Pelosi stated before the meeting at which Trump showed his pique that Trump was engaging in a cover up by refusing to send documents various House committees have demanded from him and other executive branch officials and agencies. Trump has refused to comply with multiple subpoenas and instructed various persons not to testify to the House.
In a characteristic display of stupidity, he cannot grasp why this makes him look guilty and is in fact a cover up, by definition.
But Trump is not the only problem. For reasons that only become harder to discern each day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to resist beginning a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s bad behavior. Other Democrats in the House are starting to push harder, so she may not be able to resist much longer. She should have started a formal impeachment inquiry weeks ago.
Declaring an official impeachment inquiry confers substantial political and legal benefits. It makes actions by the House nearly untouchable in court. The Supreme Court could take Trump’s side in any of the many disputes that are currently brewing only at considerable risk to its institutional legitimacy, since the legal logic and the plain logic both strongly favor allowing the House to pursue its investigation, as one federal judge just found.
Trump’s bad behavior as President has created a mound of issues on which Congress may wish to legislate in the interest of preventing such bad behavior in the future. This standard should allow nearly unfettered investigation of Trump. The trial judge refused to stay his order pending appeal, so if the accounting firm complies quickly, they will make any appeal by Trump moot, leaving this decision to stand as it is.
Pelosi is wrong to resist impeaching Trump. She just prolongs the agony. If Trump is already throwing temper tantrums because of one trial opinion, he may well lose it entirely when they begin impeachment. He still has enormous power to cause harm, but that may be the only way to goad his fellow Republicans into voting to remove him.
Sometimes, the only way out of a hostage situation is for a criminal’s head to explode.