The fact that Donald Trump ordered Soleimani’s killing seven months ago takes us into criminal territory that also ought to be impeachable.
There’s nothing new about Trump breaking the law, or committing crimes when we consider every time he obstructed justice and tried to intimidate witnesses.
This, however, is the first time we’re aware of Trump ordering the death of a senior government official in another country. This is one of those moments when it really isn’t about how bad Soleimani was. It is, to paraphrase Speaker Pelosi, all about how good we are.
I’m reminded of when Republicans obsessed over Hillary Clinton’s emails. The shifting standards for Republicans and Democrats couldn’t have been more striking than Trump condemning Hillary as a “threat” to national security while bragging that he wouldn’t lose a single vote if he killed someone on Fifth Avenue.
“Lock her up” became the favorite chant of Trump supporters – including Mike Flynn, now awaiting sentencing for actual crimes. Now Trump is in the business of ordering hits on senior officials of hostile foreign governments.
Again, this is not about who they are. This is about who we are. More specifically, this is about what the Trumps are trying to turn us into.
When the news of Soleimani’s killing broke, Trump and his surrogates claimed the kill had to be done because Soleimani was an imminent threat before Trump said he could still order Soleimani’s death even if he wasn’t an imminent threat.
“The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was ‘eminent’ or not, & was my team in agreement,” Trump tweeted Monday morning, incorrectly spelling imminent.
“The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!”
Initially, the imminent threat standard was used to justify the fact that while Trump told Lindsey Graham and a few of his guests at Mar-a-Lago, he didn’t bother to inform Congress. The imminent threat standard, if applicable, would have exempt any president, which includes Trump, from informing Congress before the fact.
Of course, it didn’t take long before the truth came out. Trump really didn’t inform Congress because he doesn’t like the Democratic Party, which he tries to debase by calling it the “Democrat Party.” He also doesn’t like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because she’s a strong woman who held him accountable for other misbehaviors and is receptive to doing it again if or when warranted. He also reached into his bag of misogynistic tricks claiming that he withheld the info from Congress because members who have been privy to the nation’s biggest secrets for decades don’t know how to keep a secret.
In short, Trump tried to justify his violation of constitutional law of the world’s only remaining superpower on arguments you would expect to hear in junior high school.
While his argument and behavior is juvenile, Trump is rapidly climbing the mountain of criminal behavior. He graduated from crimes against humanity. Among his “skills” are family separation, kiddy cages and family concentration camps. Despite failing the course on deporting children receiving medical treatment that their lives depend on, Trump excelled at deporting people who won their cases in immigration court.
Now he has moved on to ordering hits on political opponents – without accountability. We just learned that Trump ordered Soleimani’s hit seven months ago, completely destroying what was left of his already debunked story regarding the Soleiman killing.
Now Trump is saying, he doesn’t need to bother with the same standard every other president followed and the implication is that he can order the death of any person on the planet just because he feels like it.
And this is where I ask, what does this say about the Republicans who are defending him? It says that he could kill on Fifth Avenue or anywhere else in the world and they would still defend him. It says that they’ve sold out every value Republicans used to say they were about for membership in the cult of Trump.
They’ve abandoned the Republican governed by representative democracy in favor of a blood thirsty and power hungry cult of personality.
The GOP no longer believes in anything resembling co-equal branches of government. Now they bow to their “dear leader” and after suffering the humiliation of his wrath simply say “Please sir, I want more.”
On the plus side, they’ve made voting in the general election easier than it ever was. Voters need only ask if they want a blood thirsty king or a president for the people.
If only this was just about partisanship. It’s not. It’s about America’s soul and it’s about the souls of every American. Who you vote for in 2020 not only says something about America, it also says something about you.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.