Donald Trump survived his impeachment. Should he have? No.
The president’s post-impeachment victory lap has been wild. He has tweeted at breakneck speed, trashed Nancy Pelosi’s Catholic faith, complimented Jim Jordan’s body, and has also taken a literal victory lap at Daytona 500. The president has also showcased to the American people his first class vindictiveness.
The most blatant display of his vindictiveness was when Mr. Trump removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland from their respective posts. Lt. Col. Vindman and Ambassador Sondland delivered incredibly damning testimony during the impeachment inquiry into the president. Mr. Trump also, in a grotesque level of bitterness, removed Lt. Col. Vindman’s brother ,Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, from his job as an attorney for the National Security Council for no other reason than for having the name Vindman.
However, all of those actions are child’s play compared to the president’s most serious action since being acquitted by the Senate. Donald Trump has continued to abuse his power as president. An abuse of power not for the sake of the country, but for his own desires.
The most galling example of Donald Trump’s continued manipulation of presidential power has been his interference in the case of Roger Stone. Mr. Stone, a friend and ally of the president, is due to be sentenced for his conviction on charges of lying to House investigators in their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The charges were brought as part of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.
Prosecutors recommended 7-9 years in prison for Mr. Stone. That recommendation was revised by the Department of Justice, and the prosecutors have since resigned from the case. The revised recommendation, which seeks a softer punishment, has been widely viewed as a result of pressure from the president.
Would the sentence have been revised if the defendant wasn’t an ally of the president? Nope.
Therein lies the problem the country now faces: a president emboldened by his impeachment.
The singular goal of impeachment is to remove a president from office. However, another goal of impeachment is to reign in a president’s inappropriate conduct.
Impeachment has had the opposite effect on Donald Trump. His interference in the Stone case proves that he will continue to directly interfere in matters he shouldn’t be. There is no logical reason for him to become involved with the Roger Stone case for no other purpose than to do a buddy at solid.
Aiding his continued abuse of power is his own party. The president has so uniquely seized the reins of the GOP that any Republican that even contemplates crossing the president is swiftly kneecapped. They are kneecapped by an avalanche of humiliation from the president, his allies, and the unrivaled media apparatus the president has at his disposal.
There was hope among Senate Republicans that the president would reflect on his impeachment and change his behavior. Well, Senators, you just got sold a lemon.