There is a deeper reason that helps explain both the origins of the Trump impeachment articles and the larger movement to remove the President
The key is that Donald Trump not only ran against Washington’s entrenched power, he is actually delivering on that promise.
Nothing is more dangerous to the Beltway’s power and profits, to its most powerful actors and the foot soldiers behind them. Those endangered interests are the essential backdrop to the House impeachment and Senate trial.
Trump not only ran against the capital’s lobbyists, lawyers, and bureaucrats, he has avoided capture by them since taking office. Instead of making his peace with traditional Republican constituencies, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he has shut them out.
President Trump pays little attention to familiar Republican think tanks.
Instead of deferring to state party leaders, he stepped into the primaries, backed his own candidates (often underdogs), and showed it was fatal for Republicans to oppose him. Back in Washington, the Democrats shut out Trump, deciding from the outset to block as many of his Cabinet and judicial appointments as they could. The result is that Trump firmly controls his own party and is uniformly opposed by Democrats, who are otherwise fractured by ideology and age.
For all his well-earned Pinocchios, Trump has governed exactly as he promised: as an outsider and disrupter. It is hardly surprising to find the losers fighting back hard. They realize Trump’s massive deregulation and his appointment of conservative judges is the most comprehensive effort to roll back the administrative state since it developed under Franklin Roosevelt, expanded under Harry Truman, and flourished under Lyndon Johnson and later.
From Trump’s perspective, impeachment looks like another attempt by deep state actors and their allies in the Democratic Party and media to unseat a duly elected president. That’s how the White House and its allies view the initial counter-intelligence investigation of Trump’s campaign, its morphing into a criminal investigation, and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after leaks by ousted FBI Director James Comey. After two years of deep drilling into a purported “Trump-Russia conspiracy” came up dry, Trump and his supporters want to know how it all got started and why it continued so relentlessly on such thin evidence.
They see the answer in a close partnership between bureaucratic functionaries, mainstream media, and high-level Democrats, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign and senior Obama officials such as John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, and their colleagues at the National Security Council and Departments of Justice and State. Trump and his supporters see far worse than the “extreme sloppiness” Comey has acknowledged. They see crimes and deceit.
U.S. Attorney John Durham seems to be finding the same thing. The targets of his criminal investigation are emblematic of entrenched Washington power and corruption.