Twenty years ago President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex. Last week Donald Trump got away with a whole lot more.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t just conduct an evidence-and-witness-less sham trial which will go down as the biggest cover-up in political history, he essentially re-wrote the Constitution to make it that much harder to ever impeach and ultimately remove a president again.
So for all intents and purposes, here’s a shortlist of High Crimes and Misdemeanors that, according to Republicans, no longer qualify as impeachable offenses:
- Pathological lying
- Sexual assault
- Incitement of violence
- Attacking children
- Caging children
- Separating families
- Attacking disabled people
- Attacking the Pope
- Attacking Gold Star families
- Attacking war heroes (alive AND dead)
- Campaign finance violations
- Emoluments clause violations
- Misuse of Congressionally-appropriated military aid
- Abuse of power
- Soliciting foreign interference in elections
- Obstruction of Justice
- Obstruction of Congress
- Threatening US national security
Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz last week punctuated this shocking reality with his even more shocking argument that the president cannot be impeached if he believes his re-election is in the national interest. This suggests that the president can do whatever the hell he or she wants including rigging the election…so long as he convinces himself America is better off for it.
To be sure, the Clinton impeachment lowered the bar. But Trump’s Senate trial, which gave a shamelessly partisan thumbs up to his myriad moral, ethical and legal transgressions, raises that bar to unfathomable levels, and leaves us with the question, what will it now take to impeach and remove an American president?