Jan. 21, 2017
Paul Wood wrote for the UK Spectator on whether or not Trump's presidential term will be cut short by a impeachment, assassination, or a military coup:
The ‘most deadly adversaries of republican government,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton, arise ‘chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?’ Hamilton’s warning against ‘intrigue, and corruption’, published in 1788, speaks eerily to the Washington of today, where Donald Trump’s enemies imagine he is a Russian ‘agent of influence,’ bought or blackmailed by the Kremlin. The new chief magistrate himself is in full Nixon mode, at war with the media, the intelligence community, the ‘establishment’ and the ‘rigged system’, even as he takes his place behind the desk in the Oval Office for the first time. The scandal — if that’s what it is — has now inevitably been titled ‘Watersportsgate’. Is it conceivable that, like Nixon, Trump might eventually be forced from office?
It seems absurd to ask this question in the week of the new President’s inauguration. Still, the Senate Intelligence Committee has already announced hearings into ‘links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns’. The committee’s Republican chairman issued a statement saying the inquiry would be ‘bipartisan’ and would rely on ‘the issuance of subpoenas if necessary to compel testimony… The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads.’ If Trump’s staff or friends did meet with Russian officials to co-ordinate hacking the US presidential election, there is a word for that: treason, the first and most important of the ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ set out in the constitution as grounds for impeachment. But Trump’s people have denied that any such meetings took place. And even if there were meetings, what was discussed? And if there were any discussions that would trouble a Senate committee, was Trump even aware? What did the President know and when did he know it?