As the US government’s blockade turned over a month, the political landscape has dramatically changed under the feet of the White House, with the latest information from Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, who published this information on the BuzzFeed website, according to which the president of the United States, in addition to ordering him to pay for the silence of the girls he used in his campaign, Trump also ordered Cohen to lie to Congress about the status and information about Trump’s relationship with Russia. Specifically about the Trump Tower project in Moscow.
These allegations, although there is currently suspicions about their credibility, are likely to be the last argument by which we begin to hear the word starting with “I’ (Impeachment) in the upcoming time period in all American media outlets. If the information turns out to be true, impeachment is certain. But even if the information’s truthfulness is not proven, the cyclone of accusations and controversies that Trump has surrounded at the moment, will almost certainly cause the impeachment to become a mainstream and real out of purely theoretical threat to the President of the United States.
The reasons are clear: (1) The Special Investigator Robert Miller has enough evidence to confirm these allegations in his report, and here the denials which Trump is using are useless now. Aside from the fact that there are currently 17 investigations of crime against people in Trump’s narrowest circle; (2) This is a real and dramatic political turnaround in Washington’s policy, because a criminal investigation against a president is more political than a legal issue, and that will mostly affect the attitude of the Congress to Trump, especially the Republicans in Congress who can join the majority of Democrats and begin serious investigations; (3) The case itself can come out great, even bigger than the FBI’s dismissal from the FBI – this is mostly because in Miller’s report, which has become historical, it is likely that such incidents will be merged into a larger story of crime, a breach of electoral rules, obstructing justice, and unnatural and illicit ties with Russia; (4) The investigation will almost certainly extend to the Trump family, given that Ivanka and Trump Junior have already been mentioned in most of the criminal investigations, especially related to the Trump Tower in Moscow; (5) Even his own candidate for a public prosecutor says lying to Congress is an act that must not be tolerated, so these issues and allegations will not go away.
However, although the impeachment will become a very current term in the upcoming period, I think that Democrats in Congress (where the initiative must start), will first wait for Miller’s report. This is because they want confirmation of facts from a third source in order not to be accused of politicism, and because the impeachment is more political than a legal process, the report will have a huge impact on the Republicans of Congress that are necessary for impeachment, and they do not believe the current claims of the Democrats. Therefore, I think that the expected scenario is such a strategy against Trump to become a reality even after the public announcement of the report.
Thereafter, the debate will shift to whether it is politically easier and “cheaper”: to impeach or let Trump pay the price for these activities in the regular presidential elections in 2020. This is because impeachment as a process creates a national trauma and will cast Republicans and Democrats in a two-year-long negative, dirty and grueling campaign, from which they will hardly heal. This will mostly depend on the report, which can speed up or slow down these strategies, depending on the findings and the evidence. The question here is whether there will come a moment in which the political price for impeachment will become smaller than the political price to wait for the end of the presidential term – that will be the turning point in which even the most prominent Democrats can decide and let everything to go “to hell.”
But, as if these finesses are taking place, several things are getting clearer. Investigations will continue and will grow. The media will react to these announcements with increasingly loud calls for impeachment. The attention already paid to this process is vast – CNN and MSNBC just one day after these allegations mentioned the word ‘impeachment’ about 200 times in the context of Trump. (82 and 97, which means exactly 179 times). So this subject will not only go away, but rather it will intensify, as the debate strengthens and shifts from the locker-room to the main stage.
And, as it seems, Miller’s report will probably be the last nail in Trump’s coffin. If you look at the exact report, that is, a series of statements about where the investigation is (as Wired says), one would simply wish to declare Trump as a Russian agent, because the alternative is worse: Miller says that the investigation has reached so far that only two scenarios are possible – either the president was compromised by the Russian government and secretly co-operated with Putin in order to regain the assistance that Russia gave in the 2016 victory. Or we will remember Trump as a “useful idiot” – a term that Russian secret services use to describe someone who is co-opted without knowing. Or, which would be the funniest, the report will conclude that the answer is “both”.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik