Yes, President Trump was corrupt and malfeasant. But federal criminal proceedings against him would distract President Biden, give Trump a publicity bonanza, shroud key findings in investigative secrecy, and hand future corrupt presidents a dangerous weapon.
By broaching the T-word, Steve Bannon, the head of Breitbart News and former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, has done the country a favor.
Years ago, when Lawfare was still in its infancy, the two of us made an entirely serious video (well, maybe not entirely serious) for YouTube about the emergent problem of abusive internet comments. Entitled "Comment or Vote," it proposed a constitutional amendment to deprive of the franchise anyone who left a comment on any website. For some time after we posted it, until it was finally removed, the first comment on the YouTube site read: "You guys are faggots." No, we're not making that up.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on FixGov.
Suppose most Americans were to conclude that President Trump is unfit for office. How long would it take to remove him? If President Nixon’s example provides any guidance, the answer is: a long time—if ever.
In the new (March) issue of The Atlantic, and with the help of Lawfare editors Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes, I take up the question of how the damage might be mitigated if President Trump proves to be either authoritarian enough or impulsive and vindictive enough to threaten the integrity of core democratic institutions and norms. In researching the article, I learned some things I hadn't known.