Sat, May

Betting on Impeachment


LAYING ODDS-When I called my Vegas bookie, Vinny Baumstein, this morning to place a bet on whether Trump would finish his term, he laughingly replied, “No one is taking that debt.” The only bets are how he leaves and the date and time that Trump’s outta there. 

I inquired about the “How Bets.” Vinny said there are four options: 

1)  Impeachment – which is slow 

2)  Criminal Prosecution – they’ve had the evidence for quite some time 

3)  The 25th Amendment 

4)  An Offer Trump cannot refuse 

Impeachment is Political 

Despite the talk about High Crimes and Misdemeanors, impeachment is a political process. Thus, it rests upon the moral courage of the GOP in the House, and that makes the impeachment option a no-go. 

Criminal Prosecution 

As Trump and others in Washington and on Wall Street know, Trump’s business dealings, especially with Russian oligarchies, violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 15 USC § 78. Mueller has to be concentrating more on the criminal activities than Trump’s actual collusion with the Russian government. Trump would have colluded if he could have colluded, but after Donny Jr.’s meeting with the Russian Mata Hari, the Ruskies decided that the Trumps were too shaky to be assets. Trump’s financial crimes come into play under option 4. 

The 25th Amendment, Section 4 

Section four of 25th Amendment allows that the “Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.... ”  

This complicated amendment contemplates physical incapacity, such as a coma, and will not work for a mentally disturbed President. Such a public process requires moral courage among political leaders. Thus, the 25th Amendment option is dead. 

An Offer Trump Cannot Refuse 

This option removed Nixon from the Presidency. “On August 7, 1974, Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz), House Minority Leader John Rhodes (R-Ariz), and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-Penn), made it clear to the embattled Nixon that he faced all-but-certain impeachment, conviction and removal from office in connection with the Watergate scandal.” For Trump, the reality which will compel him to resign is prison time due to his criminal financial machinations. 

The difference between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump is that Nixon would not risk a civil war to remain in power. Domestic violence is the implicit threat Trump is making. 

Trump has convinced millions of mostly White Americans that whites as a group are under attack by a host of minorities. The Mexicans are stealing their jobs, the radical Muslim terrorists threaten to flood the country and murder them in their beds, and the gays and transvestites are destroying the nation’s moral fiber. Trump’s racist “America First” has become Trump’s “Me First.” 

Due to his mental limitations, Trump is counting on mobs in the streets. Unlike the Confederacy, however, Trump has no military. All the branches of the armed forces are opposed to Trump. We saw their unified revolt when Trump attacked transgender members of the military. None of the branches will permit Trump-style group rights to infect the military. The speech the generals forced Trump to give on Afghanistan made explicit that they totally reject the white nationalism and other bigotries of the Trumpists. 

Alea Jacta Est – The Rubicon has been crossed 

As the “Cops” theme song goes, “Bad boy, bad boy Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, when they come for you?” Trump’s time has run out. The die has been cast. 

The Potential for Violence Remains 

While Trump has no military to fight a civil war, the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left have worked to polarize the nation and there are pockets of true believers ready for mayhem. We can hope that they all turn out to be pussies like Weepy Cantwell.   

Trump is Seriously Mentally Ill 

A person does not have to be stumbling into walls to be mentally incompetent. The average American can no more diagnose a mentally ill person than they can diagnose cancer. Many Americans cannot even recognize bizarre behavior such as Trump’s hour-long temper tantrum in Arizona. 

The concept of a shared delusional disorder floats around the psychiatric community. Some call it “mob psychology” and point to Hitler’s rallies as well as the Bund Movement in the United States in the 1930s. Extremely frightening to Americans was the Charlottesville Tiki Torch Nazi parade shouting “Jews Shall Not Replace Us.” (Weepy Cantwell is now hiding in fear that Woody Allen will come beat him up.) Millions of Americans are wrapped up in Trump’s delusion that it’s all Fake News.  

Brave in numbers but cowards as individuals, the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left pose a clear and present danger in a few flash point places around the nation. The biggest burden probably falls on the Democrats to rein in the violent Alt-Left who provoke the mentally unstable Alt-Right.  

I told Vinny that I am betting on option #4. Vinny says that in order to place my bet, I also have to select a specific date and time for when Trump announces, “I wish to spend more time with my family.”  

Or, Trump chokes on a pretzel and hits his head on a table. It’s happened before. That’s Option #5.


(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: [email protected]. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.


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