I am reluctant to try to add to the mountains of good commentary on the Mueller report that you can find in the various media. For an excellent short take, I would point you, as I often do, to Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum. The bottom line, for me: While it cannot be proved that the Trump campaign conspired to advance Russian intervention in the election (not for want of appreciation for same) it is clear that Trump repeatedly sought to obstruct justice, evidently fearful of what Mueller might turn up. The Times and other news outlets for once gave up on their inhibition against printing obscenities, since Trump’s reaction, on learning of the appointment of the special prosecutor, was too noteworthy to censor:
Oh, my God, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
Not the reaction of a man convinced of his innocence.
So, where to go from here. Congress will hold hours and hours of hearings, as it must. I am still inclined to believe that the end result of those hearings should be an impeachment resolution. As I’ve said before, I believe that Trump is already impeachable for his continuous violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution and for numerous violations of the public trust. Congressional hearings will strengthen that case. And Trump’s refusal to cooperate with Congress in its legitimate oversight responsibilities will add to the list of impeachable offenses. Of course, barring some really spectacular new revelations, Trump will not be removed from office. The chances that at least 20 Senate Republicans will join most or all 47 Democrats in voting to dump Trump are nil. But it seems to me that impeachment of this lawless, corrupt and dangerous president is a moral imperative. I tend to agree with Rep. Maxine Waters:
Congress’s failure to impeach would set a dangerous precedent and imperil the nation, as it would vest too much power in the executive branch and embolden future officeholders to further debase the U.S. presidency, if that’s even possible.”
The inescapable question is whether impeachment would be politically smart. Time will tell, but I think it can be at least not damaging to the good cause. People point to the Bill Clinton experience, when the impeachment drive actually hurt the Republicans. But Clinton was being impeached for sexcapades; the charges against Trump concern the conduct of his office. If the polls show a plurality in favor or even just an even split of public opinion on impeachment, I think the House should probably go for it. Failure to do so would amount to abdication of an historic responsibility. And I’m not moved by the objection that impeachment would fire up Trump’s base. The good guys have a base too, and it’s not immune to fire.