Diary

Foreshadows of a Trump Impeachment

In the unlikely event that Donald Trump wins the presidency, he’s likely to provide, in the first six months of his administration, ample reasons for congress to move articles of impeachment. This week’s stories about his legal action against former campaign aide Sam Nunberg foreshadows one possible reason to impeach.

Trump is about to step into history and accept the Republican nomination for president.  And four days before the start of his nominating convention, he’s taking a former staffer to court for failure to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. And, as the AP reports, he’s not ruling out requiring White House staffers to sign similar non-disclosure agreements.

I’m pretty sure that White House employees have to sign things a lot more serious than boilerplate non-disclosure forms that give their boss a reason to take them to court if they need it. Anyone who has worked for a publicly traded company has signed one of these. And it’s generally understood that they are mostly unenforceable unless you do something like hand over the new IPhone specs to Samsung.  Unless, of course your boss, like Donald Trump, uses lawsuits as a work-a-day business tactic.

I know nothing about Sam Nunberg, but, unless his family is very, very wealthy, he’s got money problems.  Having to fight in court not only a wealthy, famous man, but the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Do you think for one minute that, if he becomes President (!!) Trump, he’s going to stop suing people? Presidents can’t be sued in civil court while they are in office.  I can’t find anything on the internet that explains whether a sitting president can sue a citizen. I would welcome a lawyer’s opinion.

But, if Trump wins, get ready. He’ll either sue someone directly as president. Or, certainly one of his companies will sue contractors or individuals for all manner of perceived or real slights.

And what happens to all of his other current lawsuits? And the rights for a fair hearing in the courts for people who are being sued by the president? A sane, magnanimous new president would just drop all the law suits on favorable terms to the other party. Does anyone think that President Trump won’t try to use the IRS, FBI, HUD, etc., to put the screws to the people he’s fighting in court? And when he does that, will Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have the moral clarity to move for articles of impeachment?

Trump’s Low Self-Esteem V.P. Candidates

Which brings us to the men who would be vice president when Trump is impeached. Trump is going to name his choice for vice president on Friday.

It’s apparently down to Gingrich, Pence, and Christie.  The first has been retired from politics since Republicans forced him from the Speakership in 1996; the second could well lose re-election in November for governor of Indiana;, the latter has a 26% approval rate in his home state, and still could face criminal charges for Bridgegate. Trump would probably pick Christie, but when he was a prosecutor, Christie put Ivanka’s father-in-law in prison. And, the son-in-law apparently has a problem with that.  So, anyhow, First Family, everyone.

Hubert Humphrey’s greatest misfortune was to give into ambition and become Lyndon Johnson’s vice president.  Early during his vice presidency, Humphrey made a speech asserting some manner of domestic policy position.

Johnson called Humphrey to his office and insisted that Humphrey recant the speech in public. After the meeting with his vice president, Johnson strolled into the press room and told the reporters there, “Well, I guess I’ve got Hubert’s balls in my pocket.”

Robert Caro documents in his Johnson biography that anyone who worked for Johnson for an extended length of time was generally a weak person, trapped in an abusive work relationship, and who suffered significant emotional damage from the experience.

Trump has all of LBJ’s Shakespearean, Faulknerian, and Hanna-Barbarian flaws with none of Johnson’s counterbalancing sense of history or social justice.