Letter: Toward impeachment

Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Toward impeachment

U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, has called for President Trump’s impeachment and asked for a House vote before Christmas. Such an early vote would almost certainly fail, but Democrats would be wise to go on record and help set the stage for a bipartisan process in 2018.

Having passed their tax bill, Republicans will be much less beholden to Donald Trump and may be more amenable. Time is of the essence.

Trump appears to be positioning himself to blunt any impeachment effort by placing the country on a war footing with respect to North Korea. Rex Tillerson will have left the State Department by early next year, and Trump will likely install Mike Pompeo as his successor.

Despite his corporate downsizing mentality, Tillerson sees no benefit in antagonizing the volatile leadership in North Korea. Pompeo has no such qualms. Should Tom Cotton take over as CIA chief, the stage would be set for military confrontation.

If an impeachment effort were underway, any impulse on Trump’s part to launch a pre-emptive strike would only inflame that effort and hasten the end of his presidency.

The other safeguard would have required consensus from Congress to go to war. However, in September, the U.S. Senate voted to table the repeal of the Authorized Use of Military Force act of 2001. Both of our senators inexplicably voted with the Republicans on that one, while the rest of the New England Democrats voted against ending the repeal.