After the not-so-stunning revelations this past week about the Trump, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and his remarks that he only fired Mr. Comey to sabotage the investigation into collusion with a hostile foreign power, it is nearly impossible for any sane human being to reject the claims of presidential obstruction of justice.
Of course it is clear by now that Republicans are going to great lengths to protect the establishment standard bearer even in the face of mounting evidence coming from Trump’s big mouth that the only reason he fired Comey was to staunch the investigation into the most corrupt and treasonous administration in the nation’s history. Based on Trump’s own admissions, his purpose in terminating Comey’s job was to obstruct justice; an obvious impeachable offense that Republicans can hardly ignore much longer. It is possible, however, that Republicans are as terrified of Trump’s rabid supporters’ reaction to their possible involvement in impeachment proceedings as they are free and fair elections. It easy to see why Republicans fear Trump’s most ardent supporters and it is not solely because they fear electoral consequences.
Throughout the presidential campaign it was typical for Trump to incite his followers to violence against his campaign’s detractors, and there are documented cases of violence at the hands of Trump’s base. The threat of violence from Trump’s supporters if he wasn’t treated like a messiah wasn’t lost on a devout Republican from New Hampshire.
Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire GOP and prior to the election he said that because of Trump’s non-stop incitement and warning that the system and the media is out to get him, he feared Trump zealots would get violent if Trump lost the election. Cullen said:
“There’s no telling what his supporters would be willing to do at the slightest encouragement from their candidate.”
One of Trump’s surrogates, Roger Stone, knew Trump had invested time and energy priming his supporters for violence against his detractors and he knew exactly what “they would be willing to do” for their fascist hero. Stone didn’t temper his warning by “intimating” how Trump’s supporters will react to the idea of Trump not being in the White House; he said if that is the case his supporters will get extremely violent, “there will be a “bloodbath.”
Now that there are murmurs that Trump’s apparently clear obstruction of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election justifies the House drawing up articles of impeachment, Trump’s supporters are preparing to act. This is particularly the case after one Texas Congressman had the courage to utter the “I” word on the House floor in a speech this week.
On Wednesday, Houston Democrat Representative Al Green was the “first member of Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor.” Mr. Green has many valid reason to want Trump thrown out of the White House, but the Texas congressman said it was the firing of FBI Director James Comey that prompted him to make the call.
Of course Green didn’t expect any Trump supporters to hail his call for impeachment as a heroic display of patriotic duty, which is exactly what it was. But he likely didn’t expect them to threaten him and every other African American with lynching.
Prior to addressing an audience of about 80 constituents at a town hall meeting in a church yesterday, Representative Green instructed his aides to play a couple of audio recordings of Trump supporters’ reaction to his House floor address using the “I” word. In the first recording he played, a man’s voice says:
“Hey, Al Green, I’ve got an impeachment for ya—it’s gonna be yours. Actually we’re gonna give you a short trial before we hang your n*gger ass.”
Representative Green then played another voicemail for the stunned constituents in which a different voice warned,
“Try it [impeachment], and we’ll rinse out you fucking n*ggers, you’ll be hanging from a tree. You ain’t (sic) going to impeach nobody you fucking n*gger.”
Green wasn’t playing the racist threats to garner sympathy from the audience, he was alerting his constituents that no matter the level of threats to his life, he was not going to be intimidated into failing to fulfill his sworn oath to defend the Constitution from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” And yes, Donald Trump is a domestic enemy; if for no other reason than he colluded with a foreign enemy to attack the nation’s democracy. Mr. Green told the audience:
“Friends, I want to assure you that no amount of threats or intimidation will stop what I have started, I promise you—we are going to continue with this. We are gonna move forward, we will not turn around.”
Al Green is likely accustomed to racial slurs. He is, after all, a seven-term congressman from Texas and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Apparently what finally drove him to call for Trump’s impeachment was Trump’s very public “warning to former FBI director James Comey” not to leak details of their conversations. He told his constituents that he believes Trump’s actions amounted to an admission of obstruction of justice, and the warning to Comey constituted witness intimidation. He said that because “nothing less than the rule of law is at stake, it is imperative that the House move to indict Trump.”
Mr. Green has a lesson for impatient Americans demanding to know why Trump hasn’t been dragged out of the Oval Office in handcuffs yet. He told his constituents that “the process might plod along from here.” He also said he has not introduced an official impeachment resolution yet and was planning more town halls on the subject to gauge the mood of the voters.
He told Mother Jones’ journalist Tim Murphy that, “I haven’t asked leadership for a response,” insisting that impeachment needed to come “from the bottom up, not the top down.” He did express some hope though because “no one in in the leadership had told him to pipe down” even though he thought that there were “surely members who were thinking it.”
After the revelations this week, it is curious why more Democrats and some Republicans aren’t openly calling for Trump’s impeachment; especially when the preponderance of the damning evidence came directly from Trump’s big mouth. One hopes that members of Congress are not refusing to speak out and resisting calling for Trump’s indictment and removal because they are terrified of Trump’s violence-prone supporters; if that is the case Trump will never face justice because Trump’s zealots are bullies and Republicans are cowards.
The sad fact is that may be precisely why Trump has spent no small amount of time and energy priming his acolytes for violence by playing the victim of a “witch hunt” card – he knows they are panting to come to his aid and willing to burn down the nation, with Republicans in it, to keep him in the White House.