Democrats are setting up their next impeachment charges, says a Washington Times columnist.
By World Israel News Staff and AP
President Donald Trump has told confidants in recent days that he felt both vindicated and strengthened by his acquittal in the Senate, believing Republicans have rallied around him in unprecedented fashion while polls suggest voters were turned off by the impeachment process, according to four White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Since then, Trump and his aides have moved with haste to clear his administration of those he sees as disloyal, reaching all the way back to the time of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Democrats and outside analysts are raising red flags that Trump is exhibiting a post-impeachment thirst for vengeance that’s gone beyond bending norms and could potentially cause lasting damage to institutions,” The Associated Press reports.
But a Washington Times piece by columnist Cheryl Chumley suggests those “red flags” are nothing more than the start of a process to bring up new impeachment charges.
After Trump fired former White House aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman last week, Democrats were up in arms.
According to a USA Today headline, “Nancy Pelosi: Trump impeachment witness Vindman’s ‘shameful’ firing a ‘brazen act of retaliation.’”
CNN’s headline later said, “Schumer calls on Defense Acting Inspector General to investigate witness retaliation.”
Chumley called it, “The next dagger to throw at Trump’s back: witness retaliation.”
In a Feb. 10 letter to the Acting Inspecting General Glenn A. Fine, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Schumer wrote of a “dangerous, growing pattern of retaliation against those who report wrongdoing,” and called for him to take “immediate action to investigate.”
When Trump vented on Twitter this week about federal prosecutors recommending a harsh sentence for his confidant Roger Stone and the Justice Department abruptly announced that it would reevaluate the recommended sentence, Schumer called for the Justice Department’s independent inspector general to probe the department’s action.
Later, House lawmakers announced Attorney General William Barr would come before them next month to answer questions.
Trump said he did not order Justice Department officials to change Stone’s recommended sentence, though he claimed he would have had the “absolute right to do it” if he had wanted to. He used Twitter early Wednesday to congratulate Barr “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not even been brought.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, accused Trump of being on a “retribution tour” and suggested that Senate Republicans — with the exception of Utah’s Mitt Romney, who voted with Democrats to convict Trump on the abuse of power count — encouraged the president by turning a blind eye to his conduct.
The Washington Times’ Chumley writes that amid the cries of “retribution,” what will be “lost in the mix, of course, will be the simple truth: A president, any president, not just Trump, but any president of the United States, has the right to hire and fire at will those who serve on his staff.”