Trump vs. Impeachment

Trump vs. Impeachment

Donald Trump is looking to survive impeachment the same way he built his powerful presidency — by assaulting facts and seeking to expand the limitations of the office he is accused of abusing.

Trump’s never-ending stream of misinformation, half-truths, and conspiracy theories seems designed to confuse voters and to create ambiguity and uncertainty about the outcome of investigations in a way that leaves even the closest observer unsure about the facts.

One expert in the work of such propagandists is former World Chess Champion and Russian political dissident Garry Kasparov. He recently said, “They know that, you know, they can get people exhausted, they exhaust critical thinking.” 

For Trump, it all started in the opening hours of the administration when he sent then-press secretary Sean Spicer out on a mission to mislead reporters about the size of his inaugural crowd.

According to the latest Washington Post count, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading claims in office. Trump’s incessant torrent of attacks — on Twitter and on camera, amplified by conservative media outlets — has helped to insulate him against the consequences of his actions.

The President is using the same tactic in the impeachment inquiry and has been partially successful in drowning out the consequences of damning testimony about his pressure on Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. The relentless wave of disinformation complicates the task of Democrats seeking to build a public case against the President. And it shapes a new narrative which Trump’s supporters and media cheerleaders can buy into and adorn.

By describing the call to the President of Ukraine as “perfect,” Trump is also implicitly arguing that he is perfectly within his rights as President to pressure a foreign leader for a political favor. Such an interpretation of the role of the presidency suggests that there are few limits to the authority of the office — and that such behavior is beyond Congress’ power to hold a commander-in-chief to account.

“He has obstructed Congress at every single stage,” said Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee. “He has said that Article Two (of the Constitution) gives him the power to do anything he wants.

So, Trump and his supporters argue that he has unlimited powers. We shall see what the US Supreme Court says and how the American voters react.

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Harald Odin
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