President Trump made a lot of promises on his way to the White House, but none is more memorable than his promise to build a great big beautiful wall and to have Mexico pay for it. Like virtually everything Trump promises (would you care to washi done that bit of gristly Trump steak with some Trump water before rushing off to graduate from Trump U.?), it remains a pipe dream. A verbal con. As far as Mexico goes, he’s abandoned any pretense of sending them the bill. So who’s going to pay for the wall? We are.
Or we would if the wall was actually being built, which it is not. Despite the President insisting that the wall is being built, and being built rapidly, there hasn’t been one mile of new wall built to ddat. Assuming our president was still teathered to reality, the only thing he could brag about would be the repair and maintence of a few dozen miles of existing wall/fencing. And even that brag would have to come with the caveat that much of that maintenance was done under direction of the Obama administration.
I knowthis is all old news. I also know it’s easy to forget old news among the daily scandals that blossom under our chief swamp drainer. But it’s worth remembering:
- You and I are paying for any wall that may someday, somehow, be built.
- No wall has been built.
- Until two days ago, these two facts were not a crime
Two days ago, the Washington Post broke the story that should, but probably won’t, result in impeachment proceedings. The story is simple, direct and damning. The president, frustrated that he could not legally get his wall built, directed aids to take land away from property owners on the border, to do it even if the law prohibited it, and that if they got into trouble (i.e., arrested), he would pardon them.
The President of the United States asked his people to commit crimes against citizens with a promise that they could do so with impunity.
It probaby is not the worst thing he’s done. But it is the most easily understood crime that he has engaged in to date. It may be difficult to explain how the President obstructed justice during the Russia investigation. That story requires people to pay attention to a lot of details and to understand why that criminal behavior is anything to worry about, since the Mueller report did not find a conspiracy between the President and the Russian goverment. Even the fact that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election and will do the same in 2020 is a bit nebulous for most people to understand. Did they just make facebook posts? Isn’t Michael Cohen a liar? Who is Paul Manarfort again?
But this is different. This is a one liner that everyone will be talking about: The president promised pardons for anyone who would break the law in order to get his wall up and running.
Nixon told his people to break into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and steal documents. Trump told his people to steal land from U.S. citizens.
- The president of the United States solicited criminal behavior and promised pardons.
- The president of the United States engaged in an attempt to illegally take property from landlowners along the southern border.
That’s it.In a normal world, that’s enough to arrest someone – or at least impeach them for abuse of power and criminal conduct. In a normal world.