If George Conway has his druthers, Donald Trump will soon be able to brag about achieving something to which no other president in history can lay claim; the eternal shame of being the only president to be impeached by Congress twice.
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In an op-ed in The Washington Post yesterday, the most voluble of the Republican resistance movement of “Never Trumpers,” i.e., members of the GOP with both a brain and a conscience, Mr. Conway quoted the president as predicting this unprecedented event before demonstrating exactly why he so richly deserves it.
“’So we’ll probably have to do it again.’”
“So said the already-once-impeached President Trump on Thursday in the East Room, musing about the possibility he could become the first president to be impeached more than once. And on the very next day, as though he were competing for it, Trump showed precisely why he could be destined to achieve that ignominious fate,” Conway opens his essay.
The behavior that the respected Republican attorney points to that in his opinion should trigger a new round of impeachment hearings was Trump’s retaliation against the dedicated public servants who dared to tell the truth about his criminal actions in the first set of impeachment hearings.
If truth actually mattered any longer, the second impeachment should be even easier to prove then the first one was since the president’s own words confirm his latest set of crimes, as Conway illustrates.
“Trump essentially admitted his retaliatory motive on Saturday, when he tweeted that he sacked Vindman in part for having “reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly,” he writes.
Conway then goes onto explain exactly why this admission is another impeachable offense.
“If this were a criminal investigation, and Alexander Vindman and Sondland had given their testimony to a grand jury, this Friday Night Massacre could have been a crime. At the very least, it ought to be impeachable: If Richard M. Nixon was to be impeached for authorizing hush money for witnesses, and Trump himself was actually impeachedfor directing defiance of House subpoenas, then there should be no doubt that punishing witnesses for complying with subpoenas and giving truthful testimony about presidential misconduct should make for a high crime or misdemeanor as well,” he reasonably argues.
It is more than the president’s actions that Conway believes should inspire a second attempt at ending “the complete mismatch between the man and the office he holds,” despite the equally disappointing verdict that the complicit Republicans in the Senate are likely to return. The tireless critic of Trump argues that it is the very essence of the president’s mental dysfunction that demands his removal from office.
“It’s about the fact that the presidency is a fiduciary position, the ultimate public trust. And that Trump’s narcissism won’t allow him to put anyone else’s interests above his own, including the nation’s. Indeed, he can’t even distinguish between his interests and the nation’s — and doesn’t need to, according to his lawyers and now the judgment of the Senate. For Trump, it’s always L’état, c’est Trump, as many observers have trenchantly put it,” he writes.
Describing the president as a serial offender with no remorse, Conway predicts Trump’s recidivism will be as reliable as the sunrise.
“And he will do it again. He did do it again by firing the Vindmans and Sondland. He’s telling us he will do it again. And no one can seriously doubt it, even those who voted to acquit,” he warns.
It’s not just that Trump will continue to destroy the Constitution and the rule of law that is the biggest problem in Conway’s eyes. It is that whatever the president has done to date, we can only expect his behavior to get worse.
“And he’ll only get worse. Narcissistic leaders such as Trump always do. As we’ve now seen, his rage leads to retribution and misconduct, which beget more criticism, and more investigation, and even more rage, retribution and misconduct. Over and over again,” Conway concludes.
“So America beware: The state is Trump, and he’s very, very angry. We might, indeed, have to do it again.”
As with Trump’s attempts to ostracize Mitt Romney, the one Republican Senator with the cojones to acknowledge the reality of the evidence against the president in his first impeachment, Trump will have a difficult time painting Mr. Conway with the brush of partisan animosity as he constantly portrays the Democratic opposition.
All the more reason to pay attention to what the Republican lawyer is saying and help Trump earn the recognition of infamy that a second impeachment would bring. With the side benefit of tying up vulnerable Republican Senators at the height of their reelection campaigns while energizing the Democratic base, it is an option that House Democrats should be working on as expeditiously as possible.