Trump's impeachment is now in play
When Republican congressmen and Wall Street start turning on The Donald, then it's only a matter of time.
This is no longer an Orange State wet dream.
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 17, 2017
If President Donald Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and his ties to Russia, that’s obstruction of justice. But let’s be clear: It’s the impeachable offense of obstruction. It’s probably not the criminal version of that act. With the evidence now available, it’s extremely unlikely that an ordinary prosecutor could convict Trump.
This is an outstanding example of a crucial distinction that Americans badly need to keep in mind. High crimes and misdemeanors, to use the Constitution’s phrase, aren’t the same as ordinary crimes. What makes them “high” is their political character. High crimes and misdemeanors are corruption, abuse of power, and undermining the rule of law and democracy. They don’t have to satisfy all the technical aspects of an ordinary crime. And this act of Trump’s, as described in a memo written by Comey first reported Tuesday by the New York Times, probably doesn’t.
Start with the federal obstruction statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 1503. The first part of the law has to do with trying to influence jurors in the course of a trial; we can ignore it for our purposes.
The second part of the law punishes anyone who “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.”
Personally I think Pence is much, much worse than Trump, but what I think doesn't matter.
As of mid-Wednesday morning, widely followed site PredictIt was indicating about a 27 percent chance that Congress would move to boot Trump out of office. While that's barely a 1-in-4 probability, it's up dramatically from as recently as May 8, when the probability was as low as 7 percent.
I also think that people need to take into account the reaction of the Trump fans. They will be rightly pissed. They will assume this to be a soft coup.
We could see some serious radicalization here.