Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
15 February 2017, 12:22
Donald Trump hasn't yet been President for a month, but David Mellor can see the path to impeachment unwinding before him. In his blog, he explains what could happen next.
The cloud no bigger than a man's hand that led inexorably to President Nixon’s impeachment, began with denials about the White House’s involvement in the Watergate burglary. It took those courageous journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, many months to patiently prove they were blatant lies.
The cloud no bigger than a man’s hand that Mystic Mellor confidently predicts will lead to Trump’s impeachment is a faster moving and blacker one.
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was compelled on Monday to resign over an untrue assertion that he had never discussed with the Russian Ambassador the lifting of the sanctions announced, but not yet imposed, by President Obama over Russian interference in the last presidential election.
Why didn’t this pernicious little lie take as long to disprove as the Nixon ones? Because Woodward and Bernstein only had the assistance of one leaker, code named Deep Throat.
Today, by all accounts, the American intelligence services are so hacked off with Trump, they don’t even need to be asked by journalists to dish the dirt. They just do it.
And what they did to Flynn is only the start.
The New York Times, with the active assistance of no less than four present and former senior intelligence officers, all singing like canaries, yesterday revealed that Trump’s campaign officials were in regular contact with the Russians during the election campaign.
These allegations are serious. Today’s Guardian asserts that if proved, this stuff is actually treasonous, because what is being said is that Trump’s people cooperated with the Russians in destabilising the Clinton campaign, and throwing the presidential election Trump’s way.
If true, the next one to be pinned to the wall will be Trump’s hapless Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who has repeatedly claimed no one in the Trump campaign had any contact with Russia before the election. As if!
The Clinton team are outraged about these revelations. One of her senior honchos, Brian Fallon, yesterday tweeted “Everything we suspected during the campaign is proving true. This is a colossal scandal”.
Indeed it is, reducing Watergate to the status of a stupid, bungled burglary of no real importance, but of course, politically, highly toxic. And that was the end of Tricky Dicky.
What is alleged about Trump the Chump, with, I suspect, much more to come, is infinitely worse.
So much so I have to admit an error.
Last month I said Trump would either be impeached or indicted. I was wrong. I now think it will be both.
Everyone is on to him. Every investigative journalist worth his/her salt is investigating Trump. The Democrats want blood because of what happened to Hillary. The Republicans, having already announced full-scale Congressional investigations into Trump’s Russian contacts, will now have to deliver. All of this is too toxic to be swept under the carpet.
And to deal with all these enemies, Trump has to rely on a shaky amalgam of extreme right wing kooks, fast-buck businessmen unschooled in the ways of Washington, and over promoted family members. At least Nixon had experienced hands to help him, and much good did it do him.
By the way if you want to know more about Trump’s reckless conduct throughout his life, invest £12.99 in the Washington Post’s history of the man in Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher’s Trump Revealed (Simon & Schuster). Absolutely riveting stuff, and all the more devastating, because it seems to be scrupulously fair.