The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog
Trump thinks the Supreme Court can save him from impeachment (it can’t)
By Steve Benen April 24, 2019
Now that he’s placed two far-right jurists on the Supreme Court, Donald Trump seems convinced that the nation’s highest bench will effectively serve as a rubber stamp, clearing the way for everything he wants.
The White House agenda on DACA? The president expects the Supreme Court to rule his way. Birthright citizenship? The president expects the Supreme Court to rule his way. Redirecting funds through an emergency declaration? The president expects the Supreme Court to rule his way. Tearing down his own country’s health care system? The president expects the Supreme Court to rule his way.
Two senior administration officials told NBC News in November that “with Justice Brett Kavanaugh now on the Supreme Court,” the White House “expects to win.”
With this mind, consider Trump’s latest mini-tantrum on Twitter.
“The Mueller Report, despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money behind it ($35,000,000), didn’t lay a glove on me. I DID NOTHING WRONG. If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Not only are there no ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ there are no Crimes by me at all. All of the Crimes were committed by Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the DNC and Dirty Cops – and we caught them in the act! We waited for Mueller and WON, so now the Dems look to Congress as last hope!”
Much of this is gibberish, including the assertions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings uncovered no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Reality tells a different story, especially as it relates to obstruction of justice.
It’s also bizarre that the erratic president believes his opponents have been “caught in the act” of committing crimes – misdeeds that exist only in Trump’s mind.
But what may matter most is Trump’s intention to “head to the U.S. Supreme Court” if congressional Dems launch an impeachment effort.
We’re occasionally reminded of just how little our amateur president understands about the basics of American governance and civics. We’re also reminded that Trump doesn’t feel the need to ask anyone for clarifications about how the system works, since his misplaced confidence overshadows his ignorance.
But as someone really ought to let the president know, Congress is responsible for initiating, overseeing, and executing the impeachment process. Lawmakers, and no one else, determine whether a president has committed impeachable acts.
Trump could “head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” but there’s literally nothing justices could do for him, even if they wanted to. The judiciary has no authority to help or hinder the impeachment proceedings.
The president doesn’t know that, and while that’s embarrassing, he nevertheless seems eager to let everyone know just how confused he is.
In the process, Trump is also offering a peek into his perspective on problem-solving. When he finds himself in a jam, the president seems to instinctively look for a fixer: Trump has spent his tenure assuming that everyone from his attorney general to his congressional allies to his White House counsel can simply make his problems go away for him.
As of this morning, the president seems to think the Supreme Court can even rescue him from the threat of impeachment.