A person who is painted or boxed into a corner is someone who has created difficulties for themselves by their own actions where there are no or very few favorable outcomes.
So far, it appeared like the “Teflon Don” president Trump has been able to escape anything sticking to him, from collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, multiple instances of potential obstruction of justice charges, to many, many cases in which Trump and his cronies have simply ignored the emoluments clause of the Constitution and have used the office of the President to add to their personal coffers.
And yet, it looks like El Cheeto Supremo may have really stepped in it this time.
The situation with the Ukraine has already presented enough evidence to finally persuaded enough members of the House that Nancy Pelosi formally announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Trump.
But, why now? After everything that happened (or rather, didn’t happen) with the Mueller report, why is it this phone call the issue that’s triggering people’s response that Trump has finally crossed the line?
The biggest thing is that it’s pretty simple to explain. As opposed to the Mueller report, which was over 400 pages, the whistleblower report is only 9 pages long.
Here’s the TL;DR:
Trump (and Guiliani, and likely others) leveraged government resources ($400 million in military aid) to pressure a foreign entity (Ukraine) to do them “a favor” (in this case: find Hillary’s missing email server and investigate Hunter and Joe Biden for corruption) for Trump’s personal gain (dig up dirt on a political rival in the 2020 election).
That right there is an impeachable offense.
Then, the White House, realizing that this call could have major implications, actively worked to cover up the event by moving all documentation related to the call to a “top secret” server meant for matters of national security, which does NOT include saving Trump’s ass.
Then, days later, Attorney General Barr received the whistleblower report, looked it over, declared that there was “nothing to see here” and tried to make it go away.
Possibly another one, depending on whether Barr was acting “on orders” from Trump.
Trump released the transcript of the call, and now that the whistleblower report has been made public, a number of sources have verified elements of the report (including the White House, which admitted moving all documentation about the Ukraine phone call to the top secret server).
Reports have come out stating that, per the whistleblower report, phone conversations between Trump and Putin and Trump and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia are also on this server.
The major differences between this and everything in the Mueller report are:
1) The Ukraine call (and visits) are linked directly to Trump and Guiliani, his personal attorney.
2) Trump and Guiliani (and the White House) have admitted they made the call, and Trump provided a document (not a transcript) of a good portion of the conversation from that call, that shows Trump repeatedly brought up investigating the Bidens.
3) The White House has admitted moving documentation to the top secret server (although they’re trying to spin/deflect who actually ordered moving the files)
4) The whistleblower suggests in his report that the Ukraine call is just one example of a disturbing pattern of behavior from the Trump White House.
Nothing in the Mueller report is as clear-cut as this. Yes, Russia actively tried to interfere with our election, and they would have colluded with the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign was simply too inept to understand what was being offered to them. Most of the obstruction of justice incidents involve Trump wanting to do something that, if his orders had been obeyed, would have clearly been obstruction. In many of the cases, though, Trump’s subordinates simply ignored his orders and waited for him to forget about the whole thing.
But will he be impeached?
That’s harder to say. As of today, the House has the votes it needs to pass articles of impeachment. However, Republicans in the Senate are currently steadfast in declaring their loyalty to Trump, and a few have declared they’ll never vote for impeachment. Ironically, at least a couple of those members (I’m looking at you Graham and Moscow Mitch) have videos from the Clinton impeachment contradicting everything they’re saying now.
But, public opinion has already shifted in the last week. It’s hard to predict if the House can continue to make a case for impeachment before the public and push public opinion even further into supporting impeachment.
There was a report somewhere that said most voters were against Nixon’s impeachment when the inquiry began, but public support turned against him as the House made their case. By the time Nixon resigned, more than 2/3 of the public were in favor of impeachment.
At what point will public opinion persuade Republicans in the Senate from staying on board the sinking Trump presidency and save their own hides? It may happen sooner for those facing re-election in 2020, especially if public opinion in their home states turn in favor of impeachment.
Trump and the GOP will likely try to stonewall the inquiry, which isn’t going to be a good look for them, considering Trump offered up the initial transcript. If they start ignoring subpoenas or trying to hide behind executive privilege now, the public may wonder what they’re hiding.
And, as we’ve seen over the last 2 1/2 years, Trump will go to any length to keep from admitting he was wrong about anything, no matter how trivial (see: Sharpiegate). He doesn’t want to lose, but, considering all of the other investigations involving the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization, Trump likely also doesn’t want to face any legal repercussions either.
We’ll likely get to see Trump go insane as his ego fights with the mafioso part of his brain over whether to fight or flee. Maybe Putin will set him up with a place in Moscow?
Will he quit? Does Trump have some other goodies on that top secret server that would take down Pence and other GOP members with him? Does his buddy Putin have enough kompromat on leading members of the Senate to ensure they fall in line and vote against impeachment?
Remember, all Trump needs is 34 Senators in his back pocket, and he walks.
Or, will Trump completely lose his shit and take us to the brink of war to cover his own ass??? I’m not talking “civil war” with far-right extremists; I mean, like, actual war, like war with Iran.
Let’s hope not.
Maybe the House will be able to make their case against Trump, public opinion will continue to rise in favor of impeachment, and enough GOP members of the Senate will discover enough of the crumbling remains of their spines to finally do something that puts Country over Party.