When former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen stood up in federal court yesterday and directly implicated Donald Trump in campaign finance crime, the Trump regime met its death.
Those of us in the resistance always considered his "government" illegitimate. From losing the popular vote by 3 million, to the Russia affair, there was nothing legitimate about his regime.
But when Cohen directly tied him to the payoffs to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, that rendered our suppositions moot. Here was direct corroboration of criminality in the service of attaining office. If the McDougal or Daniels stories had come out a month before the election, "soft" Trump voters might have had second thoughts, and the election could have swung in a different direction.
Yesterday was the domestic side of Trump criminality. We have yet to hear from the international division, re: collusion with Russia. And Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis hinted strongly that his client has information on that score as well. As bad a day as it was for Trump, things are about to get even worse.
So let's game things out.
Suppose that the avalanche comes down on Trump. Campaign finance crimes; money laundering; collusion with a foreign power. Suppose that the Democrats take the House and Senate in November, being impeachment proceedings, and find enough Republican senators to convict. Suppose all this: then what?
What do we do with an illegitimate regime's court appointments? Its regulations? Its legislation? Because remember, it's not just Trump. The entire GOP edifice is rotten to the core, and has benefited these last two years from Trump being in office. The crisis of legitimacy will be well and truly upon us.
How can we as a free state tolerate the results of an illegitimately installed president? Everything he and Republicans have done since 2017 is the fruit of a poisoned tree. He should have never been in office; how can anything he has done stand?
The Constitution doesn't speak to this. It didn't foresee such a colossal abrogation of its precepts. "High crimes and misdemeanors" is a very fluid term. I don't think it can adequately account for the utter moral and political treason of the Trump regime and its GOP enablers.
It's safe to say that "getting Trump out" won't be enough. Neither will getting Pence out. We have to seriously consider whether an instrument codified for an 18th century agrarian republic is fully up to the task of a world the Founders couldn't have even imagined.
I have no answer to these questions. But the fact that a majority of the Senate represents just 18% of the population is a situation which those of us in populous, economically dynamic areas can't and won't tolerate.
Trump is illegitimate. But that begs the question: Is he the cause, or the symptom?
Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.