Please, Somebody Explain to Trump That ‘Traitors’ Schiff and Pelosi Cannot Be Impeached

If you accuse Donald Trump of anything, he will reciprocate whether it makes any sense or not. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Look, I get it: Impeachment is rare and complicated. I wrote a lengthy explainer on the whole thing, and I’m still learning about its nuances.

Still, you’d figure the president of the United States, with all his resources, could become better educated on the subject, since he is currently the target of a House impeachment inquiry. Apparently not:

Trouble is, impeachment (and the subsequent removal from office if someone impeached by the House is convicted by the Senate) is a constitutional remedy for abuse of power limited to members of the executive and judicial branches of office, as levied by Congress. It’s not available for members of Congress themselves, as the Washington Post laconically noted:

House and Senate members cannot be impeached; rather, both bodies can expel members with a two-thirds vote — a process that doesn’t involve the president. That didn’t stop Trump from also demanding on Saturday that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) be impeached.

In case you missed that dignified tweet, here it is:

Last time Morning Consult published its senatorial favorability ratios, Romney came in at 53/32. As of September 1, Trump’s approval ratio in Utah was 47/50. This is a state Trump won by 19 points in 2016. I don’t believe Romney is the one that the Great People of Utah are reconsidering.

The odds are reasonably good that Trump either knows you cannot impeach members of Congress and is deliberately misleading people about it, or doesn’t know and doesn’t care. The idea here is to throw the I-word back at his tormentors and doubters, and perhaps even get the MAGA folk wondering: Yeah, why aren’t Pelosi and Schiff and Romney getting impeached? There’s a definitive answer, but again, it’s complicated.

We should definitely know from the experience of 2016 that Trump’s invariable M.O. is to drag his critics and opponents down to his own level and then rev up his base to win a polarized contest in a discouraged electorate. So any accusations and actions launched against him will be hurled right back, however inappropriate or even unconstitutional. Some Democrats think Trump’s habit of consorting with foreign leaders to mess with domestic political enemies is treasonous, and treason is a ground for impeachment explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. So of course he’s going to accuse his accusers of exactly the same thing.

No, Mr. President, Schiff and Pelosi Cannot Be Impeached