Donald Trump’s coercion of Ukraine to harm a political rival is only the latest good reason to impeach him, even if there’s a certainty no Republican senator would vote for conviction no matter how egregious the evidence.

The Washington Post today writes of Trump’s belief in his invincibility. And why not? The Mueller roadmap for impeachment fell by the wayside. (See also the very temperate Dan Balz on the same subject.) Trump is  now braying that Ukraine is just another witch hunt and, to name one, the New York Times is again shamefully engaging in the false equivalency game. Its coverage of Trump and Ukraine is inside the print edition of the newspaper today. And the coverage is more about Trump’s whataboutism concerning previously investigated and unsupported innuendo about Joe Biden’s son. Any day now it’ll be time for the Times to dredge up Hillary’s e-mails.


Grim stuff. But here’s a small piece of opinion on the subject I liked. It came from a Facebook group of like-minded people led by George Proctor, the Cotton Plant native former U.S. attorney in Little Rock (Carter AND Reagan appointee) who’s retired in San Francisco from a Justice Department career as an immigration judge (Bush-era appointee).

He wrote this weekend that, after not backing impeachment (sort of the Nancy Pelosi school, I guess), he’s come around. He wrote:


Okay, so I’m finally with ya’ll, the House must impeach — never thought I’d be persuaded by someone who beds down with Kellyanne Conway, but there you go. Justifying my earlier opposition to impeachment, I reached back to guidance from Justice on charging a crime (pre-Bill Barr when our mission was “justice.”). DOJ acknowledged that sometimes even when conviction is doubtful that an indictment is appropriate to send a message.


I followed this advice as US Attorney when I obtained an indictment against a Jonesboro police officer for assaulting a black man — he had a record, but then most black men did for offenses for which whites enjoyed immunity. I tried the case with an attorney I hired from the civil rights division of DOJ — said to be the best. A jury of whites acquitted the cop in about 15 minutes, not much deliberation. But we sent a message: The United States and a grand jury declares that the police officer was in violation of the law. It’s time the House send this message to Trump.

PS: Proctor’s reference to Kellyanne Conway is about a Washington Post opinion column written by her husband George Conway, a Federalist Society partisan lawyer who nonetheless has developed into one of the most persistent anti-Trumpers despite what seems increasingly like a nominal marriage to Trump’s mouthpiece from the family. Writing with former U.S. solicitor general Neal Katyal, Conway said that Trump has already done plenty to justify impeachment, but the Ukraine affair is a new standard.

Already Trump had done the impeachable by leveraging Russia to damage Hillary Clinton and then trying to sabotage an investigation of that.


The current whistleblowing allegations, however, are even worse. Unlike the allegations of conspiracy with Russia before the 2016 election, these concern Trump’s actions as president, not as a private citizen, and his exercise of presidential powers over foreign policy with Ukraine. Moreover, with Russia, at least there was an attempt to get the facts through the Mueller investigation; here the White House is trying to shut down the entire inquiry from the start — depriving not just the American people, but even congressional intelligence committees, of necessary information.


It is high time for Congress to do its duty, in the manner the framers intended. Given how Trump seems ever bent on putting himself above the law, something like what might have happened between him and Ukraine — abusing presidential authority for personal benefit — was almost inevitable. Yet if that is what occurred, part of the responsibility lies with Congress, which has failed to act on the blatant obstruction that Mueller detailed months ago.

He invokes John Dean’s famous remark on a previous cancerous presidency. This one is metastasizing at a rapid rate.

And still, Arkansas’s Republican congressional delegation stands mute.