In case it needs pointing out, Congress is not restricted to one impeachment per president. Nor is there any required waiting period between impeachments. It is not some sci-fi death ray that needs time to be powered up again after a discharge. Previous impeachments that failed to end in conviction are not disqualifying. And there is no “double jeopardy” if the president commits a whole new crime.
The House of Representatives should impeach Trump again. They should do it first thing Monday morning.
Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence is blatantly corrupt, staggeringly corrupt even by Trumpian standards. He wielded his Article II powers for his personal benefit. And he didn’t even bother doing it behind closed doors on a perfect phone call. He broadcast it for all to hear.
I am well aware of strong arguments that can be made about the political dangers of going down the impeachment road again. Better to vote him out in November. I can’t really say I disagree. But I think there’s an equally distinct political danger in not trying to push back against Trump.
In the time since the Senate Republicans dealt Trump a get out of jail free card, he has fired five Inspectors General, independent government watchdogs against corruption and malfeasance. He has directed his always-happy-to-comply Attorney General to interfere in numerous Justice Department cases. Reducing Roger Stone’s now aborted jail sentence. Trying to get Mike Flynn off the hook entirely. Ousting the federal prosecutor in New York who has been homing in on Trump’s consigliere Rudy Giuliani.
But the tipping point for me — and where I see real electoral danger — comes from the various investigations that AG Bill Barr has launched to look into the “Russia hoax” — reviewing the actions of everyone from FBI agents to former president Barack Obama and … wait for it … Joe Biden. Barr is also still sniffing around the whole Ukraine, Burisma, Hunter Biden garbage dump. Sen. Lindsey Graham has the Senate Judiciary Committee formally re-investigating the same dump.
In other words Barr is pursuing Trump’s political opponents. At the very least, we should expect revelations of scandals, leaks of documents involving the Bidens in … something. There will undoubtedly be damned emails. At worst, there may be indictments. The potential political damage that Barr and a corrupt Justice Department could inflict on Joe Biden, with no time for Biden or common sense to respond, is enormous.
I don’t know if another impeachment would have any effect on these autocrats or not. I don’t know if even a handful of Republican senators would finally do the right thing in the face of blatant corruption. But to do nothing would certainly invite only more corruption. And the corruption machine is going to be aimed at Joe Biden from here on out.
Oh, and then there’s the whole protecting democracy thing. I think the House needs to impeach. Again.
P.S. – Props to Mitt Romney. And a wan smile to Pat Toomey of PA, who called Trump’s move a “mistake”. At least he was able to choke out that much. There are 53 Republican senators and this is the best they can do? If you have a Republican senator they need to hear from you. https://www.senate.gov/general/contacting.htm