While President Trump was always far more interested in his own personal power than actually trying to run the country wall, in recent months his focus has narrowed even further, to the point where it seems that most days all he can think about is the expanding impeachment inquiry.
Congress has been steadily accumulating testimony from numerous administration officials and the White House has yet to roll out any kind of real defense beyond aggrieved whining and misdirection. There is really nothing Trump can do to stop this process even as it threatens to completely destroy his presidency, so he’s reduced to vainly lashing out on Twitter.
This morning, the president took to Twitter to ask how many more “Never Trumpers” will be “allowed to testify” about his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump assured his followers that the call was “perfectly appropriate” and that all one has to do to see that is “READ THE TRANSCRIPT” that his administration released.
Of course, as anyone who has actually read the transcript will tell you, it’s far from “perfectly appropriate.” It shows Trump asking Zelensky for the “favor” of opening a damaging investigation into possible 2020 candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In order to obtain leverage before the call, Trump had suspended roughly $391 million in aid to Ukraine, even as the country struggles to fight off the Russian military.
It was a blatant abuse of power and, as five official witnesses have already testified, inarguably a quid pro quo request on the part of Trump. The president’s implication that everyone testifying against him is a “Never Trumper” is absurd at face value, given that most of them were appointed by his administration.
The desperate tweet was presumably prompted by Trump’s anxiety over Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council who witnessed the call and who is slated to testify before Congress today. Given how damaging the testimonies of previous officials have been, it’s likely that Vindman will prove to be yet another nail in the impeachment coffin.
The last bit of the tweet, where Trump claims that he wouldn’t have said anything “inappropriate” because he “knew people were listening in on the call” is worth noting. Since the call clearly was inappropriate, it means he either didn’t actually know people were listening at the time it occurred or that he’s so confident in his belief that he’s above the law that he simply didn’t care if people heard him trying to strongarm a foreign leader into undermining our elections because he doesn’t believe he will ever be held accountable.
On top of that, the fact that he is tweeting telling people to read the transcript shows he either thinks his supporters are too lazy to actually do it or so delusional that they’d read it and still believe he’s innocent.
For once, every American should listen to Donald Trump. Read the transcript. See his guilt rendered there in stark black and white. Then, call your Representative and your Senators and urge them to vote to impeach the president. The future of our Republic depends upon it.
How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPT! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2019
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.