What Has Happened
It might not be a crime, because no one ever dreamed that a politician would commit such a crime. And, indeed, it took a NON-POLITICIAN--candidate Donald Trump--to stoop so low as to ask Russia to help him win the election.
This request might not be a "high crime"; but it is certainly is a POLITICAL MISDEMEANOR OF HIGH ORDER. That is the "smoking gun" that has been lying out in plain view all the time; this is the simple truth: Candidate Donald J. Trump committed
He committed treason in plain public view. He called for Russia to cyberattack our electoral process. On July 27, 2016, in a public, videotaped declaration, candidate Trump cried out: "Russia, if you're listening - could you find the missing 30,000 emails?"
Five hours later, Russia delivered a payload of email extracted (hacked) from Hillary Clinton's personal server. Parallels with the Watergate break-in are uncanny.
With or without his knowledge, Trump's lieutenant Paul Manafort selected the targets that Russia had to hit: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. These targets, discussed between Manafort and GRU operative Kilimnik, were swing states that Russians might not have been able to identify by themselves as the most sensitive targets-at least, not as fast and as effectively.
It is as if Churchill had called upon Hitler to bomb London. And then he had allowed his lieutenants to inform Hitler about the most sensitive and sacred sites to bomb. No, not just to request bombing of sensitive and sacred sites, but specifying where the ships and the planes and the munitions were produced and stored.
An overall assessment of the U.S. 2016 election is that "Putin won."
And Putin's winning has had a wide range of effects: We do not specifically know how or why, but Trump did accept the evident Putin command to fracture the NATO Alliance, to withdraw from international trade pacts and the Paris agreement on climate control, to foment the ideological war against Islam, and instill the divisive fear of Latinos immigrants. Putin is a KGB master.
Deep inside the United States, the is the acceptance of a likely Putin wish. President Trump's overt War on the Deep State is the War against our Intelligence Agencies, against those agencies that form our first DEFENSE against foreign aggression, be it Russian or Chinese, or North Korean aggression.
We do not need to know the litany of cases in which President Trump "colluded" with Russia; we do not need to know the number or variety of cases in which President Trump "obstructed" or tried to obstruct the efforts of our public justice system to uncover his collusion with the Russian government. One initial, incontrovertible single case of treason is enough to declare the president unfit for office. He has betrayed his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. This is an implicit oath to serve and protect the interests of all the people of the United States, not his own self-interest.
Why Did Donald J. Trump Commit Treason?
Clearly, Donald J. Trump committed treason to win the election.
If we now ask, why the steadfast denial of collusion, we find the answer in two places. First, in the sense of fairness of the American people. The American people do not easily tolerate or forgive acts of unfairness. President Trump trembles at the thought of the American people discovering the truth. He knows that he would lose legitimacy in the eyes of his followers.
There is a deeper reason why President Trump is denying collusion--and compelling his associates to agree with him, or else. If he were to face the truth of treason, he would recognize, not a liar, but a loser in the mirror, a person who, to win, loses his soul--his American soul.
The specter of Trump's father casts long shadows over the American political system at this stage.
What to Do Now?
In another country, in another age, treason would be punished with the death penalty. Today, in the United States of America we will feel fully compensated if we classify the deed as a HIGH POLITICAL MISDEMEANOR and act accordingly.
We have a series of remedies.
First, we will let Congress act. Let all members of Congress face their constitutional responsibilities. Their first remedy is to impeach president Donald J. Trump.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in her unparalleled political wisdom, knows that impeachment proceedings are going to tear the country apart; besides the amount of time needed for impeachment proceedings militates against this solution. We are faced with an urgent problem; we need a fast solution.
Let members of his Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment.
If this alternative should not be carried out, there is a final set of suggestions. A softer and speedier alternative is to have Speaker Pelosi issue a request for President Donald Trump to appear in front of the Congress to explain his ways. If he refuses to appear voluntarily, Speaker Pelosi can issue a subpoena.
If not even this alternative should be carried out, there is a final suggestion:
Speaker Pelosi and our Congress might want to test the possibilities of a new political approach. They might want to create a Congressional--or national--bipartisan commission to manage a program of Redemption of the Bully.
President Trump would be offered the alternative of resigning or mending his ways. A program of Redemption of the Bully would establish the conditions in which President Trump--or any other future president or high public official thereafter--would ask for and receive forgiveness of sins from the people of the United States of America.
Carmine Gorga, PhD, a former Fulbright Scholar, is president of The Somist Institute.