Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Impeachment and Elite Entitlement

These words from the Mueller Report—allegedly uttered by President Trump upon learning of the appointment of a special counsel—are catnip to Trump’s enemies: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”

Why, they ask, would an innocent man respond with such fatalist resignation? And thus, the quote becomes one more piece of evidence to be used in the construction of  a psychological crutch for these people: the fiction that Trump must be guilty of some impeachable offense.

Of course, Trump had every reason to believe that such a probe could destroy even an innocent man. Over the last decade, we have watched time and time again as the wheels of justice turn only at the whims and interests of the administrative state. And if the wheels’ turning doesn’t suit those whims . . . well, then, the wheels will cease to turn.

The Obama Administration took the concept of “prosecutorial discretion” to new heights. Sanctuary cities would be allowed to flout federal law. States would be allowed to enact drug laws that run counter to federal regulations. With impunity, the IRS targeted political opponents of the executive branch, limiting their ability to influence elections. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton vowed to prosecute and imprison a no-name videographer who purportedly provoked an attack on a CIA installment in Benghazi, but none of the actual perpetrators of the attack would be held accountable.

As Clinton’s State Department continued to misrepresent the facts about Benghazi, Hillary was allowed to conduct public business from a private server. When it was revealed to the public that this unsecured system had been used to transmit top secret intelligence, there was no urgency on the part of federal officials to address the misconduct. Congress issued subpoenas, but there were no pre-dawn raids at the Clinton compound, complete with international media coverage. Instead, the guilty parties were allowed to delay and even destroy evidence.

As these various abuses of justice unfolded, a new fraud was being perpetrated against the Trump campaign. The FBI and the Clinton campaign (and probably other representatives of the Obama Administration) were colluding with foreign intelligence agents: concocting a tautological “dossier” that served as the basis for FISA warrants allowing surveillance of an opposition political campaign.

In the context of all this malfeasance, Trump would be insane if he didn’t believe that the investigation had the potential to bring down his administration. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that when the state wants to get its man, it will get him—and if evidence must be manufactured, then so be it. And when the state doesn’t want to get its (wo)man, no amount of evidence is going force their hand.

And so we arrive at the present: with the collusion delusion kaput, even usually-reasonable leftists like Andrew Sullivan are eager to move the goalposts: we must impeach on obstruction of justice.

Yes, Trump must be impeached. Not because he didn’t cooperate with an investigation that he had every reason to believe would find him guilty regardless of the dearth of any evidence. On the contrary—Trump must be impeached because he didn’t facilitate his opponents’ designs. The tortured reasoning that these conclusions rest upon serves as prime evidence of the hypocrisy that drives leftist realpolitik.

Mueller’s anti-Trump bias is evident in the report’s treatment of the obstruction question. By citing almost a dozen instances of “possible” obstruction, Mueller effectively says, “I can’t find evidence that you obstructed justice, but I think you did. Prove you didn’t.”

Of course, Mueller is aware that an intent to cover-up a crime is central to obtaining an indictment for obstruction of justice. Given that Mueller’s team was unable to document any collusion of Americans with Russia, Trump’s various attempts to influence the investigation clearly were not an attempt to hide a crime. Rather, they were efforts to mitigate the damages of a process that he reasonably believed to be an orchestrated attempt to undermine his legitimate election.

It’s worth noting, too, that the collusion yarn was very effective in that regard: it persuaded millions of Americans not only that Trump is illegitimate, but that Trump is a threat to America. Even in their falsity, those beliefs did much to stymie the president’s agenda.

Nevertheless, Trump couldn’t be charged with obstruction because the absence of a crime showed that he was not acting to escape justice. But for the impeachment enthusiasts on the Left, the total lack of an originating crime is a non-issue. They also say that Trump’s motives in handling the investigation are irrelevant. This is interesting, because motive was the primary exculpatory argument that these people used to excuse Hillary’s obviously illegal handling of classified documents.

When Comey announced that “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict Hillary, he willfully ignored the statutory language on the mishandling of classified information. The question of motive had no place in that debate: legally speaking, the question of whether or not one intended to cause any harm has no bearing on whether one is guilty of mishandling secret documents. Nevertheless, the newly invented criterion of malicious intent was enough to ensure that Hillary would not be held accountable. And so, for the Left, motive was paramount in that case.

Two years later, Mueller suggests that motive might also be sufficient reason not to charge Trump with obstruction—a crime in which the question of motive is legally legitimate. But in this case, the same people who celebrated Hillary’s exoneration by intent now breathlessly call for impeachment proceedings against the implicit judgement of Mueller and against the counterevidence that motive provides. And so, we find that at precisely the moment when the collusion narrative is totally and obviously debunked, people like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the unrepentant morons in the corporate leftist media are issuing their most hysterical impeachment demands to date.

These people have no scruples. There is only a crass will to power in which the value of everything lies in its utility in achieving their regime change. Know this: truth is nothing and everything to them.

The truth is identical to their desires. And they will do anything to bring it into being.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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About Adam Ellwanger

Adam Ellwanger is an associate professor of English at the University of Houston – Downtown where he directs the M.A. program in rhetoric and composition. His new book, Metanoia: Rhetoric, Authenticity, and the Transformation of the Self, will be released from Penn State University Press in 2020. You can follow him on Twitter at @DoctorEllwanger