This is interesting. We have a chief executive under fire for collusion with the Russians who’s willing to risk his presidency by dropping our most sensitive national secrets on…the Russians. In front of shocked attendants and aides, Trump enlightened the foreigners visiting the White House. He’s got plenty of chutzpah. He’s got a penchant for driving the narrative into deep water.
At first hearing, there’s the must-be-kidding-me frisson of shock. But then the threadbare Trump dissonance creeps in, like the tide. Hell, he could’ve done it. You’re stuck between being quik-thrilled at the prospect of his treason and the hopelessness of it being true. The President just did something that would’ve gotten any chief executive before Ronald Reagan summarily hanged.
Yes I’ve read the take at LawFare, and they’re sounding like sensible conservatives. We’ll take it while we can:
Fifth, this may well be a violation of the President’s oath of office. Questions of criminality aside, we turn to the far more significant issues: If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.
There’s more to this “Oath” than I ever understood, and I’m grateful for that.
Congress has alleged oath violations—albeit violations tied to criminal allegations or breaches of statutory obligations—all three times it has passed or considered seriously articles of impeachment against presidents: against Andrew Johnson (“unmindful of the high duties of his oath of office”), Richard Nixon (“contrary to his oath”), and Bill Clinton (“in violation of his constitutional oath”). Further, two of the three articles of impeachment against Nixon alleged no direct violation of the law.
It’s all mysterious to me. I know that what’s obviously wrong is wrong, but I don’t know what counts for enough to dispense with the biggest threat to the country we’ve seen in our lives.