Trump’s unfitness doesn’t hang on what Mueller uncovers

Asha Rangappa on what’s really at stake:

Cohen’s guilty plea on Thursday demonstrates that Trump’s behavior is fundamentally incompatible with the vision of government expressed by the Constitution itself. To wit, Trump not only believes it’s OK to profit from the presidency, but he’s also willing to put the U.S. under a foreign adversary’s thumb to do it.

Candidate Trump’s secret attempt to enrich himself through a business deal with a hostile foreign adversary is the embodiment of the twin evils the Constitution seeks to prevent. That the deal didn’t materialize is immaterial from a constitutional point of view: They may still have influenced Trump’s weirdly favorable view of Russia, or the inexplicable change in the Republican Party platform on Ukraine. And by keeping it secret, President Vladimir Putin’s ability to expose Trump, at any time, gave the Russian government leverage over the highest public office in the country even after the deal fizzled out. Even if Trump began these negotiations while he was a private citizen, its impact on our relations with Russia has continued into the presidency—making it a matter of public concern that required transparency from the outset.

Instead what it got from the outset was a long string of attempts to obstruct justice (remember, he was pushing Comey to protect Flynn just days in) and lies and concealments. Transparency was there none.

And we don’t even know all of it.

The public still hasn’t seen Trump’s tax returns, and what other liabilities he might have in Russia or elsewhere. The president is also facing three lawsuits—from members of Congressthe attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington—over potential violations of the emoluments clause. And without knowing what financial interests Trump has in Saudi Arabia, the public is in the dark regarding the United States’ failure to take action—at Trump’s direction—over the murder in October of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul.

He could have multiple corrupt interests all over the planet.

[W]hat makes Trump’s actions egregious is not just what he did, but the position he was running for—and now holds—while doing it. For example, Trump’s business entanglements in Saudi Arabia matter because as president, he holds almost sole authority over the Unites States’ foreign policy decisions with that country.

And look at what he’s doing with that authority.

By continuing to lie, Trump has prevented Congress from being able to effectively utilize the Constitution’s Plan B: impeachment. With the Cohen plea, however, it’s time to acknowledge that Trump’s unfitness doesn’t hang on what Mueller uncovers. It’s demonstrated by his disregard for the basic premise of the Constitution he’s sworn to uphold.

Bam.

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