Lying on my back in a hospital for the past two weeks has not improved my assessment of the unimpeachable Donald J. Trump.
It’s pretty clear from the Mueller report that the man and his minions committed acts and crimes that would, and should, lead to impeachment for collusion with foreign enemies and obstruction of justice and contempt for Congress. Were it not for the fact that there’s a legal opinion in this country that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, Trump would be.
Tell that to Bill Clinton. For that matter, tell that to Hillary Clinton, who you should be very sure, had she won and done half of the things the Trump administration had done, would be running around with packs of conservative wolves howling for her blood. The fact that their boy Donnie did it makes it OK with them.
Principled individuals, in all political parties, feel the need to take a stand and to defend our country and its legal norms. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that we cannot, and should not, impeach President Donald J. Trump.
I find myself in the same place where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to be, which is a realization that to indict Trump would play into his hands, could backfire against Democrats in November, and at the very least, would not be effective because there’s not enough time to undertake such a proceeding before the next major election.
Trump has not kept faith in the American people. Mueller lays out this history of bad faith in great detail, but the fact that he accepts that a sitting president cannot be charged leads others to suggest the Mueller report lets Trump off.
Certainly it was worth undertaking investigations on specific crimes in order to defend America, but we have a man in the White House who cannot accept any criticism of Russian interference in the election, because to him it means he is not a legitimate president.
And he is not a legit president. And never will be. But unfortunately, there is not time, nor are there votes in the U.S. House and Senate to remove this man from office. We must all do that together in November 2020.
When you are not well, your attention tends to get focused on your health and self and the immediacy of your pain. And yet, I find that my concern for a country that will not hold its president accountable cuts through the pain, discomfort and exhaustion of illness.
Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.