Impeach him

When Mueller concluded his report, many of my commenters seemed to believe Trump’s claim that the report “totally exonerated” him. They claimed I was refusing to accept reality when I suggested that, while the report was clearly good news for Trump, I’d reserve final judgment until the details were made public.

Then when the NYT reported that Mueller officials hinted that report was far more negative than implied by Barr, they said it was “fake news”.

Now the report has been released and its clear that Trump lied and Barr exaggerated. Indeed the report is far worse than even I expected. The report specifically states that it does not exonerate Trump, and lists 11 examples of possible obstruction of justice. You can quibble about a few of these, but there’s more than enough here to justify impeachment. While there is zero chance the Senate would vote to convict, the House should nonetheless impeach Trump.

Even worse, it shows Trump repeatedly asking his subordinates to ignore the rule of law, and then get saved by the decision of his subordinates to ignore his requests.

I was also mocked for my continued belief that Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to stop Hillary.  In fact, Trump and his supporters lie when they claim the report showed “no collusion“:

In fact, in his report, Mr. Mueller explicitly stated that his conclusions were not about collusion, “which is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States code.”

The Mueller report found numerous examples of Trump people engaging in collusion-like activities with Russia, just as I claimed, although they could not prove that this collusion rose to the level of a crime.  Yes, it is not illegal to encourage other governments to put out dirt on your opponent. But it’s still collusion and it’s still a scandal.

So I’ll take this report as a “total exoneration” of my previous views on Trump.

Of course Trump lied about his Russian connections during the campaign, and now it seems clear that his favorable attitude toward Putin during the campaign was at least party linked to his ongoing attempts to do business deals with Moscow.  At least Warren Harding’s corruption was not treasonous.

And even Trump has come around to my view of the report.  After earlier claiming that the report totally exonerated him, he now says it is full of negative information.  The only difference is that I claim the negative information is true and he says it’s false.

It was also nice to see official confirmation that Sarah Sanders is a liar.  I already knew this, but now she’s admitted it under oath.  She just makes stuff up out of thin air.  And now she’s lying about her lies.

Just as Trump benefited from the fact that many of his advisors refused to carry out his requests to obstruct justice, he also benefited from the reluctance of the Russians to conspire with Trump officials who reached out to them.  It seems Putin’s a lot smarter than Trump.

I suspect the other continuing investigations of Trump will uncover lots more dirt.  If you think of Trump as an individual government worker, with a certain “valued added”, then he’s clearly the worst president in US history.  Obviously that doesn’t mean his administration is the most unsuccessful, indeed it’s not even in the bottom third.  But as an individual actor, he’s the worst.

PS.  Congress would have an easier time getting Trump’s tax returns if the alternative was conviction for obstruction of justice.

PPS.  I suspect that Nixon’s obstruction of justice seems worse to most people because Nixon was far smarter than Trump.



32 Responses to “Impeach him”

  1. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    20. April 2019 at 09:05

    I agree with all these comments and will add that it should be possible to indict, arrest, and try a sitting President. No one should be above the law in any respect.

  2. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    20. April 2019 at 09:27

    ‘I suspect that Nixon’s obstruction of justice seems worse to most people because Nixon was far smarter than Trump.’

    Milton Friedman said that Nixon was the smartest President he’d ever known, that he was an intellectual. I.e., as a politician he was a ‘fish out of water.’ Pretty much the opposite of Trump.

    So how did such a smart guy manage to get himself (about to be) impeached and have to resign the office? Especially since 40 years after the fact, we now know Nixon did nothing illegal.

    Trump will never be impeached, nor resign. Maybe there’s more to being President than intellect.

  3. Gravatar of Jim Jim
    20. April 2019 at 12:22


    Random question and I suspect I’m wrong here but can’t pinpoint our disagreement.

    There’s a large twitter thread in link below (scroll to top) regarding Canada’s monetary policy and the correlation between the monetary base and NGDP over the long run.

    Thoughts on where I’m wrong (“Split Rock” account)? I’m basically claiming MB and NGDP correlate over the long run and since CB controls MB they effectively control NGDP almost completely.


  4. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    20. April 2019 at 12:39

    I’m indifferent on Trump. Not the most likeable guy, but policy has been pretty typical conservative playbook stuff. The hysteria is puzzling considering the blandness of policy.

    Regardless, don’t you think you if you were to shine a bright light on any recent president you would find a similar level of shady behavior (if not illegal activity)? Obama surely knew/instructed the IRS to target conservative groups. Obama was surely influenced by Clinton who was in turn influenced by donations to CGI. Bush surely had reservations about the WMD argument for Iraq…and possibly even suspected the “intel” was nonsense. I could go on for many pages…

    I’d be in support of assigning a special prosecutor to investigate every action of every president upon inauguration. But I don’t think we’d like what we find and I certainly thing nothing would get done. But i see nothing remarkable about Trump other than that the fact that his lies are so transparent which makes the situation oddly comforting (it’s the lies I dont suspect which scare me). Strikes me that we are simply in denial as to how one attains power in this country…it isn’t pretty.

  5. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    20. April 2019 at 13:54


    Very well put and exactly why parliamentary immunity has existed for centuries. The Brits figured it out 400 years ago. I wonder how long it will take for the Democrats (and Republicans) to re-learn the old lesson that representative government CAN NOT function when when prosecution and arrest take the place of debate and elections.

    We will see what happens when Horowitz and Barr now go after Comey, Yates, Lynch, HRC and Obama. Hopefully the adults in the room will put a stop to the nonsense.

  6. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    20. April 2019 at 13:56


    You are correct. The CB totally and completely controls NGDP.

  7. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    20. April 2019 at 14:39

    I agree with Effem and dtoh.

    Political disagreements should be resolved through debates and elections. There’s an election coming up in 2020. Reputable democrats should focus on that.

    It’s childish to supplant the political struggle with legal and pseudo-legal procedures, and it has a very negative connotation.

    Scott, you are always so worried that America is drifting towards banana republics. But then you should not support this nonsense.

  8. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    20. April 2019 at 17:52

    Trump is Trump, but sanitizing Nixon to make Trump look darker….

    Well, suffice it to say that E. Howard Hunt said there was a White House plot to murder journalist-columnist Jack Anderson, which he would have effectuated had ordered.

    “What especially arrested me was his [Hunt] saying that his dedication to the project had included a hypothetical agreement to contrive the assassination of syndicated muckraker Jack Anderson, if the high command at the Nixon White House thought this necessary.”

    And who wrote that?

    William Buckley, who was a friend of Hunt’s!

    Then there is the little matter of Nixon leaving behind more than 200 million cluster bombs in Laos, lethal to this day.

    “Mine-clearing agencies estimate that about 288m cluster munitions and about 75m unexploded bombs were left across Laos after the war ended.”—-The m stands not for 1000, but for 1 million.

    “In his comments on Tuesday, President Obama described Laos as the most heavily bombed nation in history. Eight bombs a minute were dropped on average during the Vietnam war between 1964 and 1973 – more than the amount used during the whole of World War Two. The US flew 580,344 bombing missions over Laos, dropping 260m bombs – equating to 2m tons of ordnance, with many targets in the south and north struck time and again as part of efforts to isolate Communist North Vietnamese forces.Most devices dropped were anti-personnel cluster bombs. An estimated 30% of these munitions did not detonate.”

    By some accounts, Nixon and Kissinger early on knew Vietnam was not winnable, but extended the war for another three years past Nixon’s in 1972, so it would not look like :Nixon “lost Vietnam.”

    Say what you want about Trump. Impeach Trump for all I care. But egads, Nixon was a foul little demon…..

  9. Gravatar of maleko maleko
    20. April 2019 at 20:19

    You’re correct. Let’s try Obama and Hillary for crimes against the state and treason.

  10. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. April 2019 at 21:31

    Jim, That’s a complicated issue. If there is no IOR, then the base and NGDP correlate over time, assuming nominal interest rates are not at zero. With zero rates and/or IOR it gets more complicated. But yes, the central bank controls NGDP.

    Effem, You said:

    “Regardless, don’t you think you if you were to shine a bright light on any recent president you would find a similar level of shady behavior”

    No. If you think the answer is yes then you are out of touch with the real world.

    dtoh and Christian, So it was wrong to force Nixon out of office? Okaaaay. . . .

  11. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    21. April 2019 at 02:24


    1. Fine to use the constitutionally mandated process of impeachment or an election. Not fine to do it any other way like special prosecutors or civil lawsuits, etc.

    2. Regarding Jim’s question, there is no need to equivocate over IOR. Fed controls IOR so they control NGDP. Full stop. It doesn’t matter if changes to velocity cause a lessening of correlation between NGDP and the base. The Fed could easily compensate for it (if they weren’t a bunch of incompetent imbeciles.)

  12. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    21. April 2019 at 03:34

    I do believe the answer is “yes.” I’ve had the privilege to see behind the curtain into the lives of many powerful people. While generally decent people they each have countless episodes of stacking the deck in their favor, punishing opponents, bending the law, strategically using non-truths, etc. I believe we’d be literally horrified if we had full transparency into politics. Look what we’ve learned just since Wikileaks, Panama papers, etc and that’s the tip of the iceberg. Look at Trudeau illegally favoring powerful companies, lying about it, and trying to cover it up (as one real-time example from the “canadian Obama”).

    I believe a vantage point from academics may give the warped perspective.

  13. Gravatar of Mads Lindstrøm Mads Lindstrøm
    22. April 2019 at 03:23

    “and lists 11 examples of possible obstruction of justice. You can quibble about a few of these, but there’s more than enough here to justify impeachment.”

    This is the kind of statements I am reading a lot of lately. And they don’t convince me of anything, as they are mere claims. 11 examples could mean that Trump did a lot of bad stuff, or that Muellers bar was really low for what he included. To be convincing what you need to do is:

    1) Define what you see as the standard of an impeechable event.

    2) Find the very worst of those 11 examples and explain why it is impeechable. Go into details. Consider alternative explanations for Trumps behavior.

    And remember the constitutions do say “high crimes and misdemeanors”, not morally questionable behavior.

  14. Gravatar of Mads Lindstrøm Mads Lindstrøm
    22. April 2019 at 04:59

    “I was also mocked for my continued belief that Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to stop Hillary. In fact, Trump and his supporters lie when they claim the report showed “no collusion“:”

    For two years pundits, politicians, and journalists have been saying collusion in lieu of the legal term conspiracy, and now when Trump supporters use the term collusion you call them liars. Come on, that is just partisan word games.

  15. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    22. April 2019 at 05:26

    Who would not “take a meeting” promising to deliver dirt on your political opponent? No crime in listening and walking away is there?

    The Watergate playbook was about the cover up. Just get in there and poke around and something will turn up.

    GOP ran the same playbook on Clinton, with an investigation that ended up sprawling all over the place, from Whitewater to Lewinsky. Definitely the worst impeachment (I remember a picture coming out of my congressman and lead House investigator Henry Hyde with his not-wife sitting on his lap in his 40s, a “youthful indiscretion” lol).

    All of Trump’s idiotic, impulsive ideas were reined in anyway. The system is robust, and there’s another election right around the corner.

    I honestly don’t really care though. Impeachment means two years of gridlock and posturing and ad nauseum recrossing of all this ground and no removal from office in the end. Fine. Twitter will continue its current awfulness.

  16. Gravatar of Bob Bob
    22. April 2019 at 07:31

    I disagree with your assertion that you would find similar behavior in other presidencies, and would note that the examples you provide are very poor. After multiple congressional inquiries, Justice Dept investigations and an inspector general investigation, it was determined that the IRS probably didn’t behave badly and there was absolutely no indication that Obama knew about it or directed it. Same for Bush and WMD. There is little reason to think that Bush doubted his assertions on WMD. Do you really think he wasn’t surprised when they weren’t found? Everyone was surprised. W was incompetent, as is Trump, but I’ve heard no talk about Impeachment for incompetence. Trump clearly attempted to obstruct justice. REgardless, Democratic Leadership has indicated that they do not intend to impeach. Mueller probe uncovered numerous crimes, corruption in the white house, and proved that Russia has an active and effective program to influence our elections. That’s pretty good use of resources.

  17. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    22. April 2019 at 09:54

    Bob, your argument that there was no “wrongdoing” in other cases (despite much more shallows investigations) could just as easily be applied to Trump. After a massive investigation he was found to have done nothing wrong by the very same system that you seem to trust in the other cases. You can’t have it both ways.

    Personally, I think true transparency (not possible) would prove me right that virtually every president has done some very questionable things. But I barely think it matters…let’s just apply the same standard across presidents whether we like them or not.

    How is trump incompetent? Economy is humming, foreign policy is status quo basically, etc etc. You may not like him but that doesn’t mean you can read someone’s tweets and call them incompetent. Focus on outcomes.

  18. Gravatar of Bob Bob
    22. April 2019 at 14:22

    First, Why do you put quotes around the word “wrongdoing” when that word does not appear in my comment? Second, the Mueller report does not say that Trump “did nothing wrong”. In fact it explicitly states they the report does “not exonerate” him, and it outlines n s a number of things that he did that is think qualify as “wrong”. Finally, I consider him incompetent because he has failed to achieve any of his stated objectives. No wall, trade deficit has gone up, oBamacare not repealed, immigration not reduced… otherwise known as, “outcomes”. He does seem to have some political skill but until he translates that into a policy achievement does it matter?

  19. Gravatar of Ben J Ben J
    22. April 2019 at 17:16

    Shoutout to E Harding for having the 2019 Major Freedom Memorial Money Illusion Comment Section Insane Breakdown.

    Seek help, E!

  20. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    22. April 2019 at 19:50


    The only person who should seek help here is Sumner, for his genocidal rhetoric. Maybe the other commenters should also seek help for not condemning him enough and missing the point.

  21. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    23. April 2019 at 04:47

    Not surprised at the comments trying to exonerate Trump. They love him. They don’t love him for any one specific policy, after all Don promised so many conflicting things. They love him for his personality. So they will eat a mile of his shit to see where it leads.

    Honestly the only things that will change the Trumpery is if a video surfaces of him saying he hates the farm folk in Iowa.

  22. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    23. April 2019 at 09:24

    😆… Harding, I hope Putin is at least paying you for that

  23. Gravatar of Longtime Reader Longtime Reader
    23. April 2019 at 10:31

    I’ve never commented here before but I’ve been reading the blog for a few years – I hope my suggestion doesn’t spark an even more heated reaction but I had to suggest this: The kind of comment that E. Harding made in this thread doesn’t belong in any kind of discussion or forum. I know comment moderation can be annoying and I certainly don’t want to cause you any extra work but it seems that a simple policy like “Any comments making personal attacks or using violent language will be deleted.” This rule seems relatively simple to enforce and understand and shouldn’t limit anyone from voicing their opinion. Just a suggestion.

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. April 2019 at 11:22

    Harding, You need to control yourself. Think before you comment.

    Longtime Reader, Yes, that comment was over the line. I deleted it.

  25. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    23. April 2019 at 13:15

    Sumner, I think before, after, and while I comment. You can be sure I will treat you with the exact respect you treat your readership, and this post shows a shockingly low respect for your readership.

  26. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    23. April 2019 at 15:05

    That was the real Harding? He’s even crazier than I thought. He needs to see a psychiatrist.

    Love how he always wants to give advice, after supporting Trump. I guess it’s impossible for him to think he might not know very much. At least he’s smart enough to see that Trump’s a fool. That’s something.

  27. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    23. April 2019 at 15:09

    Given Harding’s recent reactions, and observing others like him, I’m tempted to think some fascists are the equivalent of anti-gay closeted gay people. He’s really a whacko Maduro-type socialist, but can’t bring himself to accept it.

  28. Gravatar of Dtoh Dtoh
    23. April 2019 at 17:54

    Agree with others you need to censor or suspend Harding. We don’t need that kind of language here.

  29. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    23. April 2019 at 19:17

    Sandifer, Dtoh, quit it with the trolling. It’s not nice; quite the opposite, in fact.

  30. Gravatar of Adam Adam
    24. April 2019 at 11:04

    One thing that doesn’t seem to get discussed much: Trump was compromised by Putin as soon as he told the first lie that Putin could prove is a lie. And there were many of them. Most likely, there are still things that Trump has lied about that the American public doesn’t know, but Putin does.

    He was compromised from an intelligence perspective from the beginning and still is. That alone is a reason he shouldn’t be president.

  31. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    24. April 2019 at 13:59


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