Donald Trump and his new handpicked Attorney General William Barr are clearly desperate to keep the Mueller report suppressed, and it’s not difficult to parse why. Even Barr’s own glowingly misleading “summary” has given away that the report includes comprehensive evidence that Trump has committed serious crimes – and when it becomes public, House Democrats can use it as a basis for impeachment. Even as this plays out, Trump suddenly has a new kind of impeachable scandal on his hands.
Earlier today, NBC News buried the lede in a lengthy online article about Donald Trump’s National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. Way down around the twentieth paragraph, the article reveals that whenever Coats tried to brief Trump in early 2017, Trump would use it as an opportunity to push the conspiracy theory that President Obama had somehow wiretapped Trump Tower during the election. But Trump took things even further.
According to the NBC article, “Trump believed it was Coats’s responsibility to come up with conclusive proof he had been wiretapped, make it public and criticize the alleged eavesdropping.” This was after Coats had already repeatedly told Trump that was no proof of any such thing. You may or may not be able to make an argument here that when Trump told Coats that he was supposed to “come up” with evidence, he was instructing Coats to manufacture such evidence. But whether this can be framed as an actual crime or not, it’s absolutely impeachable.
Earlier today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told a gang of reporters that “Impeachment is not on the table until it is on the table.” While there is every reason to expect that the Mueller report will produce a boatload of impeachable evidence against Donald Trump, these new details about Trump and Obama are a reminder that impeachment doesn’t have to hinge solely on the Mueller report, damning as it may be. House Democrats will continue exposing Trump’s crimes and scandals until he’s no longer politically tenable – then he’ll be gone.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report