The relaunched Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative estimate of the likelihood that the House votes to impeach Trump before the end of his first term.
On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Democrats released a report about Donald Trump’s Ukraine/Joe Biden shakedown scheme. Concurrently, the Washington Post wrote that “some” House Democrats would like any eventual articles of impeachment against Trump to cover other corrupt activities he’s personally engaged in, not just the ones related to Ukraine. Apparently “moderate” Democrats don’t like this idea because they think it would make swing voters perceive them as over-the-top manic partisan president-haters. But, inconveniently for that faction, events keep reminding everyone that Trump’s portfolio of crookedness is, like the universe, constantly expanding. Events like:
• Trump saying Tuesday that next year’s G7 world-leader summit will be held at Camp David. His administration had initially announced that the summit would be held at his Doral resort in Florida, arguing that Camp David was unsuitable and that Doral had been chosen on its merits after a rigorous vetting process; emails later released under public-records laws showed that Doral was only added to the selection process after the Secret Service had already narrowed a list of ten possible sites down to four finalists, none of which were owned by Trump.
• The same left-leaning watchdog group that got the G7 emails, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, obtaining documents that show an Army battalion spent at least $26,000 to hold an event at Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. in February. The president is in charge of the Army.
• The administration awarding a $400 million border-wall contract to a North Dakota firm called Fisher Industries, which is owned by a Republican Party donor who has appeared on Fox News to promote his company’s suitability for border projects. The Washington Post has previously reported that Trump instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to consider Fisher in its bidding process despite the Corps having asserted that the company’s proposal “did not meet its requirements and lacked regulatory approvals.”
• The Post—which, as we are seeing demonstrated here, has really been much better and tougher on the nuts and bolts of Trump corruption than the New York Times—reporting that attorney general William Barr disputes a forthcoming non-partisan inspector general’s conclusion that the Department of Justice acted appropriately in investigating the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russian intelligence. In other words, the leader of the Justice Department is insisting that Trump’s claims of a Justice Department conspiracy against him are legitimate despite an independent investigation having concluded otherwise.
Furthermore, the Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday shows that Democrats may not even have yet discovered all the instances of impeachable crookery that are strictly connected to Ukraine:
That would be Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on House Intel itself, talking to Lev Parnas, one of the two Ukrainians who’ve been indicted for making illegal campaign donations in relation to Giuliani’s effort to get the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine fired this spring. That effort was apparently undertaken in order to get the ambassador out of the way before Giuliani et. al began aggressively pushing for an announcement that Joe Biden was under investigation.
Will swing voters really punish Democrats if they investigate such blatant acts of major-league swamp sleaze, especially when polls consistently find that huuuuuge majorities of voters think corruption in government is a major problem and support efforts to reduce it? I don’t know, but Trump couldn’t be doing more to get the House to put that question to the test if he were doing it on purpose!
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus