Not Getting in the Way of Trump’s ‘Eliot Ness’

Creative Commons photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Estonia

There has been plenty to talk about in the world of politics in the last few weeks.

U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones (D) defeated lightning rod Republican Roy Moore in Alabama, Republicans passed a massive tax overhaul and sexual harassment allegations continue to roam the halls of Congress. Some wonder whether Sen. John McCain’s health is on a permanent decline, while others are asking the question of whether we should spend government money investigating if we are alone the Universe.

But the story that continues to dominate Washington, and the world, is the investigation into President Donald Trump’s connection with Russia during the 2016 election.

Now the partisan media has either attacked him for being a dictator in the making or the secret ingredient in the Democratic party’s plan to retake Congress in 2018, or alternately praised him as the underdog against a power-mad FBI that has been “weaponized” to remove Trump from office (as if Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the human equivalent of anthrax). CNN suggested Trump’s fans at FOX News are using the network to prop up the politically weakened president.

What people haven’t seemed to pick up on is why Democrats like Jones and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are not asking for Trump’s head on a platter. Why aren’t they calling for blood?

The Democrats don’t want to derail the impeachment process because they believe in Trump’s innocence. If that were true, they would be calling for Trump to fire Mueller, which they most certainly are not.

Democrats would rather delay the process because they know: 1) there are very few things a president can do that are worthy of impeachment (no president has ever been removed from office, save Nixon, other than by the end of his term or the end of his life) and 2), you only get one shot to get this right, because the concept of Double Jeopardy is an iron-clad rule for impeachments if ever there was one.

So, while former FBI Director James Comey is throwing mad Twitter shade and Trump promises not to fire someone he wishes would accidentally fall into the Potomac late one night (he should talk to Putin about how one’s opponents can conveniently disappear), the investigation grinds on.

Trump allies might like to compare Mueller to Supreme Leader Snoke from the Star Wars universe or James Moriarty from Sherlock, but a much more apt comparison is the legendary G-man Eliot Ness, who spent years investigating Al Capone and eventually brought down the infamous mobster on tax evasion charges.

Besides, the Democrats don’t want Trump to resign and have Pence pull a Gerald Ford and pardon the businessman-turned-politician. They want a spectacle that will both ruin Trump and the GOP for years to come.

If the Republicans are smart, and there is sufficient evidence for obstruction of justice or “other High Crimes or Misdemeanors”, Ryan, McConnell and company will lead the call for impeachment in order to 1) do the right thing, and 2) save their party from utter ruin.

Accepting the possibility the American public would view them as unindicted co-conspirators rather than selfless  heroes for their efforts is a risk they might have to be willing to take.

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