The Slatest

Wall Street Journal Says Trump Shouldn’t Be Impeached Because “He Was Too Inept to Execute” Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

Trump shouts while standing in front of some greenery.
President Donald Trump shouts at members of the media outside the White House on Oct. 3.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

One of the great periodic defenses of the current president is that he’s too inept, too ill-informed, too bad at his job to commit the many crimes swimming through his head that he’d like to commit. The Wall Street Journal editorial board added to this mind-numbing line of defense with a staff editorial arguing Trump’s attempt to engineer a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian president to aid his reelection campaign isn’t actually that bad because the American president is, quite literally, “too inept to execute it.”

The WSJ’s rationale was fashioned in response to the damning testimony this week of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor. The Journal pounces on Taylor’s testimony that not everyone in the White House thought committing impeachable offenses was a good idea, therefore it “may turn out” that Trump was incapable of executing those likely crimes.

Intriguingly, Mr. Taylor says in his statement that many people in the Administration opposed the Giuliani effort, including some in senior positions at the White House. This matters because it may turn out that while Mr. Trump wanted a quid-pro-quo policy ultimatum toward Ukraine, he was too inept to execute it. Impeachment for incompetence would disqualify most of the government, and most Presidents at some point or another in office.

“Intriguingly?” Intriguing. It’s a staggering leap from Sentence 1 to Sentence 2 by the Journal. Yeah, sure, Donald Trump attempted to rob the gas station convenience store, but as the security camera footage clearly shows, he got distracted by the hot dog warmer and forgot the stolen cash at the condiment station. And, well yes, he did attempt to shoot the overnight cashier in the process but didn’t realize the glass was bulletproof. No harm no foul, your honor; please empty America’s prisons.