Opinion | Mike Littwin: How hot does a smoking gun need to be before Trump is truly burned? | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Mike Littwin: How hot does a smoking gun need to be before Trump is truly burned?

My first reaction to the no-longer-so-explosive Buzzfeed report that Donald Trump had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the timing of his negotiations for a Moscow Trump Tower was that, yeah, of course he had.

I love how Trump’s TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani always paints Cohen as a lying sleazebag without noting that Cohen’s utter sleazebagginess is exactly what attracted him to Trump in the first place.

Trump lies. Cohen has spent years lying to further or cover up Trump lies. And lying to Congress, which Cohen has already admitted to, is of a piece with everything else they’ve done together. Why would Cohen possibly tell this particular lie — lying to cover up the fact that negotiations for the never-built Moscow tower were ongoing even after Trump had been nominated for president — without Trump’s urging and approval?

It seemed to be a huge story, with huge potential ramifications, at least until the Mueller team basically shot it down. Suborning perjury, which is what they call this in the law biz, is a serious crime. In fact, in his recent confirmation hearings, would-be Attorney General William Barr was asked about just such a scenario in which a president coaches someone to testify falsely. Barr said it would be a “classic” case of obstructing justice.

For another take on impeachment, you should read this recent piece in The Atlantic, which makes a strong case for its use, starting with the fact that the founders put the impeachment remedy into the Constitution with the full knowledge that, as they say, elections have consequences.

I know what you were thinking. Obstructing justice is the classic first step to impeachment. If the story is true, this could be the fabled smoking gun that moves the idea of impeachment from a pipe dream to something much closer to reality.

Maybe. But maybe not.

Read the full column at the Colorado Independent.

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