That was candidate Trump speaking in 2016. I think he really meant alone, meaning “by himself.” He apparently forgot, or at least misunderstood, that we live in a democracy. The presidency is only one branch of our government. There is a Congress composed of 100 Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives, most of whom came to Washington with the expectation of playing a part in governing the country, and a Judiciary, judges who protect the Constitutional rights of all people.
Trump fancies himself the ultimate dealmaker, so he probably believed he alone could fix “it.” To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it depends upon the meaning of the word “it.” During his campaign, on October 22, 2016, Trump issued what he called his Contract with the American Voter. It was a plan that would guide his administration starting from the first day, and contained 60 promises. These are Trump’s top ten promises: Number one, of course, was to build a wall along the southern border, and number two, he would make Mexico pay for it.
Number three, “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.” Number four, he would get rid of Common Core (an educational initiative from 2010 that details what K–12 students throughout the country should know), and may even eliminate the Department of Education. Number five, the Environmental Protection Agency might also disappear. Number six, he would get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something “terrific” that is “so much better, so much better, so much better.”
Number seven, he would eliminate the regulatory walls between states in order to make health insurance plans available nationally. Number eight, he promised to rebuild the country’s aging infrastructure for one-third of what the United States currently pays for such projects. Number nine, he would save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security without cutting benefits. Number ten, he would defund Planned Parenthood. (“I will take care of women, and I have great respect for women. I do cherish women, and I will take care of women.”)
I think most of us would agree that Trump has failed to keep his promises. Could it be because he alone cannot fix much of anything?
Or maybe it’s because he has been busy using his time to Tweet that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found “no collusion, no obstruction,” which isn’t true. Mueller’s report did not exonerate Trump; it said “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so [emphasis added].” The report also said, “With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice…The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
While Mueller couldn’t indict the president, he suggested Congress should investigate the many instances of likely obstruction of justice by Trump outlined in his 445-page report, and that Congress has the power to find a president guilty of “wrongdoing.” In other words, Congress can and should consider impeaching Trump.
With the Mueller report available to the public, it’s clear that it tells a very different story from what Attorney General William Barr was spinning in his four-page letter to Congress last month. Even Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano believes Mueller, in his press conference announcing his resignation, “basically” said that his office would have indicted President Trump had he not been president. “This is even stronger than the language in his report.”
Recently, nearly 1,000 former federal prosecutors who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system published a letter stating that if Trump weren’t president, he would have been indicted on multiple felony charges of obstruction.
According to the letter, “Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice. The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include: The President’s efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort; The President’s efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.”
As Tiger Woods once said, “Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter.”