During Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation, the word “impeachment” was frequently tossed about in association with Donald Trump. In Trump’s most recent scandal, involving evidence that Trump may have used the powers of his office to get information from a foreign head of state about a political opponent, “impeachment” is no longer just a murmur.
Over the weekend, Trump sent out no less than 80 tweets to express his disdain for what he calls “another witch hunt,” as Democrats moved to go forward with an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s phone calls with the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Though Trump publicly tries to maintain a demeanor that alternates between indifference and scorn, the frequency and outrageousness of his recent tweets seem to indicate otherwise. Trump frequently tweets out preposterous pronouncements, but his tweeting over the weekend seems to have reached a new magnitude of extreme and threatening overtone.
“If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal,'” Trump tweeted, quoting Pastor Robert Jeffress.
Republican House member Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) responded, “I have visited nations ravaged by civil war.@realDonaldTrump. I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.”
Trump attacked Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee via Twitter, claiming that Schiff had misrepresented Trump’s phone call with Zelenskiy, and suggesting Schiff be arrested for treason.
In response, Republican strategist Mike Murphy tweeted, ”Out. Of. Control. Treason? A POTUS saying this? #UnfitAndUnstable.”
Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman, said about Trump’s manic tweeting, “That’s the president wetting his pants a little bit. This has him nervous. There’s real concern here. The flashing tweets that keep jumping out is his way of trying to get control of something that he’s losing a grip on.”
Trump sent menacing-sounding tweets regarding the whistleblower whose complaint opened this investigation, as well. “…In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower.’ Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!”
Trump’s tweets, along with his comments last week that the whistleblower was something “close to a spy,” and that in the old days, spies were dealt with differently, prompted three house members to respond: “…Threats of violence from the leader of our country have a chilling effect on the entire whistleblower process, with grave consequences for our democracy and national security.”
Over the weekend, lawyers for the whistleblower expressed concerns for their client’s safety, asking that leaders “condemn any intimidation against our client and others.”
It’s a little surreal that a U.S. president would say something that reasonable people would interpret as a potential threat to the safety of one of his constituents.
It’s not improbable that Trump’s growing nervousness about an impeachment inquiry, coupled with his lack of impulse control, could cause him, in the weeks ahead, to build a stack of menacing or power-abusing tweets that in themselves could be grounds for an impeachment inquiry.
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Fox News [2019-09-29]