On Friday morning, any American who was tuned in to business television witnessed a somewhat surreal split-screen.
Just as Chinese officials outlined the contours of an interim agreement that helps deescalate the 20-month-old trade war instigated by Donald Trump, the House Judiciary Committee recommended his impeachment.
Voting along party lines, as expected, the panel approved two articles of impeachment against the most divisive president in modern political history. Lawmakers adopted both charges (abuse of office and obstruction of Congress) 23 to 17, as Republicans shrieked in horror.
Suffice to say GOPers were “triggered”, to employ a juvenile meme often trotted out by right-wing provocateurs and propagandists on social media and seedy blogs.
Trump spent the morning alternating between feeble attempts to defend what certainly appears to be yet another exercise in can-kicking on the trade war and insisting that he did nothing wrong in the Ukraine affair, contrary to the accounts of a dozen witnesses who testified both privately and publicly over the past ten weeks.
“How do you get Impeached when you have done NOTHING wrong (a perfect call), have created the best economy in the history of our Country, rebuilt our Military, fixed the V.A. (Choice!), cut Taxes & Regs, protected your 2nd A, created Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, and soooo much more?”, Trump wondered, leaning on the usual combination of exaggerations, half-truths, abbreviations, colloquialisms, unnecessary capitalization and outright lies.”Crazy!”, he added.
Jerry Nadler isn’t amused with any of this. Speaking to the press, he called Friday a “solemn and sad day”.
Contrary to the White House’s narrative, nobody is particularly enamored with the idea of having to recommend the impeachment of a US president for selling out America’s democratic process a second time.
Next week, Trump will become just the fourth American president to face impeachment by the House for “high crimes and misdemeanors”. A 300-page report by the House Intelligence committee released earlier this month made the case and a trio of scholars who testified last week unequivocally said Trump’s behavior is grounds for impeachment. A GOP witness disagreed.
He will, of course, be acquitted in the Senate, but his presidency will now have yet another asterisk. It is entirely fair to say that “disgraced” is an adjective that will be used to describe Trump in history books once the partisanship of the day abates and Americans are allowed to come around to the stark reality of his tenure in the Oval Office.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump cast all manner of aspersions, laying blame for his forthcoming impeachment with everyone from Nancy Pelosi to Germany to the FBI to Hillary Clinton, who the president called “crooked as a three-dollar bill”.
“The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House”, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, in a statement.
Trump and his attorneys were repeatedly asked to participate in the proceedings. They refused each and every offer.