Last week Thursday, before the Flynn-Cohen-Manafort dump underscored how Donald Trump surrounded himself with and seized the Presidency with the help of felons, law professor Frank Bowman announced that his new book on the history of impeachment will hit the shelves next spring… by which time one analyst says there’s a 55% chance Professor Bowman will need to rush to print a new chapter.
Bowman says his main contention is that British and American constitutional history show that “impeachment is, and was always intended to be, a means of protecting the Constitution in the broad sense, by which I mean not only the particular governmental arrangements and personal rights specified in the written document, but equally importantly, the distinctively American institutions and norms that have grown, flourished, and solidified around the written core.”
Are we there yet? Bowman says absolutely:
…Trump’s true offense, the thing that would justify his impeachment and removal, is not any one of these, but the totality of his multifaceted assault on the norms of American constitutional government. The unifying feature of all his offenses, large and small, is self-aggrandizement. His object is to draw as much power, money, and adulation to himself, and secondarily to his family, as he can. His invariable method is to attack any person, institution, law, rule, custom, or norm that might impede him from whatever he happens to want at the moment. His objective is government according to the will of the one. What he seeks, whether as some deep-laid plain or more likely because it is simply his nature, is autocracy. And there is solid, venerable precedent for impeachment on that ground [Frank Bowman, “The Case for Impeachment of Donald Trump, Part 1 (The Forest & the Trees),” Impeachable Offenses, 2018.12.06].
Meanwhile, Senator John Thune is mumbling cautiously:
“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more that’s going to come out from the Southern District (of New York) and from, at some point, from the Mueller investigation as well,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber’s incoming No. 2 Republican, said Monday. “What they’re implying there, obviously, is something I assume at some point the president will have an opportunity to respond to.”
Thune continued: “Campaign finance violations are something that … they are serious matters, but obviously it depends a little bit on how it gets treated” [“AP News in Brief,” AP via North Andover (MA) Eagle Tribune, 2018.12.11].
I’m not sure why there’s a but after “Campaign finance violations are… serious matters.” But remember: Professor Bowman’s point is that impeachment hinges not on campaign finance violations or any of the other trees; the need to remove the current President of the United States rests on the vast forest of Donald Trump’s selfish drive toward unaccountable autocracy.