Republished from the New Yorker Magazine. Photo caption: If appearances of obstruction of justice by the president intensify, Republicans will inevitably begin to imagine what 2018 or 2020 would look like if the man behind Trump got a promotion. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images – Story By Ed Kilgore

The timing and manner of Donald Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James Comey raise an inevitable suspicion — not proof, but a suspicion — of presidential obstruction of justice. And the only real remedy for presidential obstruction of justice, if it is stubborn, is impeachment, or at least the threat of impeachment — as we learned during the Nixon administration. Because presidents have the power to gum up every other path to the revelation and reversal of serious patterns of administration misconduct, there’s a pretty low threshold for talk of the “I-word,” once said gumming up appears to be happening.

As Matthew Yglesias notes, the Republicans who control Congress can head off an impeachment crisis by un-gumming the path to justice via some investigative entity beyond Donald Trump’s control. But that will require a break with Trump that most of them do not want to make.

. . .

In those circumstances, how many conventional conservative Republicans would resist the temptation to fantasize about a deus ex machina procedure that could remove the troublesome Trump and replace him with the extremely well-known quantity of Mike Pence, perhaps just in time to change the dynamics of 2018 — or certainly 2020 — in the GOP’s favor? Conversely, Democrats might prefer to keep Donald Trump around as long as possible to indelibly stain the GOP with his misdeeds and his alarming demeanor.

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Comments

  1. Why does the front page of this group have external stories–
    Should webpage be designed to say who is HRI and how to join and other pertinent info like a mission statement etc
    I want to point others to the org. But this site doesn’t explain the org at first glance

    1. Diana. . .
      The website is a work in progress and we all welcome feedback. So glad to hear (1) there are readers, and (2) that you have different expectations for this site. The front page is intended to change daily and keep people engaged. The “About” page is static and provided the information you’re looking for. The “Registration” page describes how to sign up. Does that make more sense now?

      Three of us update this site. I publish the articles on the front page, and use that space to provide information that may not be obvious or published everywhere else. All articles are reposted from prominent publications. For this particular article, I thought it was worth reprinting because it brings out both the Democratic and Republican points of view. I think we always need to be aware of how both parties are viewed in general.

      Having said that, I’m sure I don’t always reach my goal, and appreciate your feedback. Thanks!!

      Kay Miner

    2. Diana,

      We added a button on the home page that does directly to the Frequently Asked Questions page. I’d be interested in how you think this works. It certainly puts the attention on getting involved.

      Jud

  2. That’s a cunundrum. Let the Trump scenario play out through the elections, or try to unseat him in favor of a more normal, much more legislatively effective Reactionary to would continue to do real societal damage.

    1. I agree. But it’s worth understanding both the Democratic and Republican points of view and where things are probably starting to play out. We need to be clear-sighted about both partys’ points of view.

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