President Trump and the 'I word'


From the moment he was sworn in as president, progressive politicians and their PR associates in the mainstream media have been convinced that Donald J. Trump could not possibly have beaten their beloved Hillary Clinton unless he cheated, unless he conspired with the Kremlin to throw the election his way.

In their eyes, he has never been a legitimate president.

But if the special prosecutor had evidence that Mr. Trump colluded with the Russians, we'd certainly know it by now. Nothing stays secret in Washington, not for long anyway. Leaks are the coin of the realm. They're how all sorts of people in government impress their allies in the media; it's how they show journalists how important they are.

Despite the fact that there's been no evidence that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin got together to toss Hillary over the side, progressives are salivating. They have convinced themselves that they've found the smoking gun that will spell the end of the Trump presidency.

And what is that, you'd have every reason to ask? Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer (and fixer) who once said he'd take a bullet for Donald Trump, now as a convicted felon says he paid off two women to keep their mouths shut about their alleged flings with Mr. Trump - a violation of campaign finance laws. And if Cohen is guilty, his lawyer (and close friend of Hillary Clinton) Lanny Davis says, so is the president, who the allegation goes, was in on the hush money deal.

Oh, the humanity.

Before we go on, let's be clear that while violations of campaign finance laws are, well, violations - they're not exactly crimes against humanity; they're more like jaywalking or litterbug violations.

Granted a campaign violation involving hush money to a Playboy model and a porn star is more than a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to these things. But the president can credibly say he didn't order the hush money payments to help his campaign - he did it to cover up a couple of embarrassing affairs that he didn't want his family to know about.

Who knows? Maybe there's more. We don't know what we don't know. Maybe Paul Manafort and Mr. Cohen have the goods on their old friend, the president. Or maybe they don't. We'll see, to use a favorite line from the president.

In any case, this isn't simply about the law. It's also about politics. And so, if the Democrats take over the House, impeachment is more than a mere possibility. They'll get to decide what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors. The progressives running for president along with their left wing base will demand impeachment proceedings. So will the media elites, who, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, "want vindication for believing that Mr. Trump could never have legitimately defeated their heroine." Never mind that he won't be convicted in the Senate. The goal is to humiliate the president they detest - and to weaken him in case he really decides to run for re-election in 2020.

(Memo to progressives: You may risk a backlash from moderates and independents if you vote to impeach. You may wind up doing the president a favor by pulling off the impossible: making Donald Trump look sympathetic. But we understand you may not be able to control your impulses - or your base. Tread carefully.)

Speaking of those media elites, the Media Research Center reports that on the day after Manafort and Cohen bit the dust, "CNN and MSNBC reporters, anchors, and paid contributors used the word [impeachment] an absurd 222 times in 18 hours."

Like sharks, they smell blood in the water.

If being a narcissist and acting like a vindictive adolescent were impeachable offenses, Donald Trump would have been kicked out of the Oval Office a long time ago. But they're not. That's the good news for the president. The bad news is, the party that controls the House next year will decide what is an impeachable offense.

And if that party is the Democratic Party, as the polls seem to indicate, Donald Trump may look back on his first two years in office - when he was under constant siege from his many critics - as the good old days.

Bernie Goldberg is an opinion writer and a news and media analyst for Fox News' O'Reilly Factor. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni.