President Donald Trump will likely survive attempts to remove him from office. But even he knows — impeachment lasts forever, even if one isn’t necessarily indicted for the crimes they were charged with.
On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted out a number of complaints about impeachment, including how it would affect his legacy.
“Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong?” Trump asked in his tweet. He encouraged those reading his words to, once again, read the transcripts, referring to memoranda he released last year that he believes exonerated him of wrongdoing.
Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong? Read the Transcripts! A totally partisan Hoax, never happened before. House Republicans voted 195-0, with three Dems voting with the Republicans. Very unfair to tens of millions of voters!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
The transcripts are not a verbatim account of his conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and experts who have analyzed the content of the memos have pointed out that they do indeed demonstrate a request for a quid pro quo.
Indeed, the memo “shows Trump urging a foreign leader to investigate a top political rival,” Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger noted in a piece he wrote in November.
In addition to drawing attention to the memos in his tweet, Trump suggested that the vote for his impeachment, which took place in mid-December, was not justified because it wasn’t bipartisan.
The impeachment vote was “a totally partisan Hoax,” Trump wrote, noting how zero Republicans voted for the measure, and even three Democrats voted against it.
“Very unfair to tens of millions of voters!” Trump added.
This point needs further examination as well, as it’s quite misleading: Democrats were not the only bloc voting for impeachment. One lawmaker, Rep. Justin Amash, an independent from Michigan, joined Democrats in voting for Trump’s impeachment.
At this time last year, Amash was, in fact, a Republican legislator. He left the Republican Party in the middle of 2019. And his vote on impeachment technically makes it not a totally partisan affair, as Trump maintains it is.
Congressman Justin Amash leaves Republican Party. Had previously called for President Trump's impeachment. https://t.co/kVgAC3FrK5
— Blake McCoy (@BlakeMcCoyDC) July 4, 2019
Another point to examine in Trump’s rant: did he do anything wrong? That’s up for interpretation. Many political observers have noted that the president’s actions, attempting to coerce a foreign power to investigate a political rival of Trump’s to help him in the 2020 presidential campaign, is a clear abuse of power. Others may say it’s bad, but doesn’t rise to the level of impeachable conduct.
His obstructive behavior during the impeachment inquiry — refusing to adhere to subpoena orders from Congress, a co-equal branch of government — is also within that gray area. Is it something to impeach a president over, or is that something for the courts to decide?
But when Trump suggests that impeachment is unfair to tens of millions of Americans, he also ignores the fact that an equal number of the citizenry, if not more, are happy with Democrats impeaching him.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll from earlier this month showed that a majority of Americans supported the impeachment and removal of the president, with 51 percent saying so. That same poll showed the public was split evenly on what Trump should do next — with 45 percent saying he should fight the charges, and 45 percent saying he should resign from office.
Whether Trump believes he’s being treated unfairly is, of course, his own opinion. But for a number of Americans — most, in fact — he’s being treated exactly the way he deserves to be.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr