Trump's Presidency Has Reached A Tipping Point

Convershaken Staff
May 18, 2017

Since Donald Trump's election, millions have fantasised about ways to get the crude, shady, lazy, nepotistic, misogynistic, wilfully ignorant, disrespectful, xenophobic, nationalistic, narcissistic, impulsive, petulant, deceptive, self-serving, self-aggrandising, self-avowed sexual predator out of the White House. Their dream is the closest to reality it's ever been.

The dominoes began tumbling after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump's team initially claimed the decision reflected Comey's poor handling of the investigation into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's emails, coupled with written recommendations for his dismissal from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. However, Comey reportedly refused to pledge his loyalty to the president, and Trump soon confirmed another factor: his frustration with Comey's ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia.

The next day, Trump met the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister and elected to share top-secret information with them that Israel had told the US in confidence. Soon after, reports emerged that Comey - who kept detailed memos regarding his conversations with Trump - was asked by the president to drop his investigation into then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whom he described as a "good guy". Moreover, Trump asked Sessions and Vice-President Mike Pence to leave the room before making the request, suggesting it was serious. Trump's firing of Comey and alleged attempt to coerce him sparked outcry among lawmakers, prompting Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor - former FBI Director Robert Mueller. 

Empowering Mueller to investigate and potentially prosecute Trump spares Sessions and Rosenstein from having to look into their boss - a clear conflict of interest. Moreover, Democrats don't trust the Republican House and Senate Intelligence Committees to be unbiased: officials such as Devin Nunes and Jason Chaffetz have run more interference than actual investigations. And the scandals have continued: Trump tweeted that he may have recorded his conversations with Comey; and Flynn is under fire for allegedly discouraging a US military assault on the Syrian city of Raqqa while being secretly paid to represent Turkey, which opposed the attack. He was previously investigated for failing to disclose speaking fees he received from the Russian government.

Still, critics of Trump should contain their excitement. Trump probably won't be impeached for the Comey fiasco alone, particularly with a Republican-controlled Congress. There's also a high bar for levelling charges against the president: a majority of the House must support the motion, and two-thirds of both the House and Senate must vote to remove him from office. It will also be several months before the various investigations draw to a close. But it's undeniable that Trump faces his greatest scandal yet, and it's more than likely he'll make more major missteps in the next few weeks, let alone over four years. Mueller should have plenty to work with, if and when the time comes.