Washington Post editor suggests Trump should be impeached over coronavirus response

Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), spent the better part of 2019 attempting to remove President Donald Trump from office.

Their efforts at impeachment failed when Trump was acquitted by the Senate, as CNBC reported — but in a column published last week, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt laid out reasons he thinks Pelosi and company would succeed if given another try.

Adding to the list

“Imagine that the Senate had simply postponed its impeachment vote — and that we had the opportunity now to update the articles of impeachment,” Hiatt wrote. “Based on Trump’s behavior this year, and what we’ve learned of his prior actions, would we have anything to add?”

Unsurprisingly, Hiatt came up with a lengthy list.

The columnist begins by accusing the president of “[n]egligence, leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans, in the handling of the novel coronavirus.”

“What makes Trump’s response impeachable is the willful, knowing endangerment of the American people for selfish political ends,” Hiatt writes for the Post. “The president refused to acknowledge the danger because he did not want the stock market to tank.”

The newspaper editor doesn’t mention that Trump imposed a travel ban early to slow the disease’s spread — a move that senior Democrats initially condemned as being “xenophobic” but later chose to support, as Fox News noted — nor does Hiatt acknowledge the policy of New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to force nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a New York Times report released last month, nearly half of the country’s coronavirus fatalities have occurred in nursing homes. As of Monday, over 130,000 Americans have died from the disease nationwide, as the Times reported separately.

Let America decide

Besides accusing Trump of mishandling the pandemic, Hiatt alleges that the president has engaged in “[a]buse of law enforcement powers,” pointing, among other things, to the president having “ordered federal law enforcement officers to violate the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters to enable a photo op near the White House.”

Of course, a statement from the United States Park Police said that far from clearing out “peaceful protesters,” its officers confronted violent rioters throwing rocks and bottles.

The Post editor adds abuse of appointment power to the list, as well, noting that Trump “kicked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman out of his White House job — along with his twin brother, for good measure — and now threatens to block Vindman’s Pentagon promotion.” But he failed to mention that during the president’s impeachment hearings, White House adviser Tim Morrison said that there had been serious questions about Vindman’s judgment.

Finally, Hiatt accuses Trump of abusing his power in foreign affairs, though he relies heavily on the words of former National Security Adviser John Bolton, someone with whom the president has had extensive personal animosity.

Given that an election is less than five months away, it’s curious that Hiatt would advocate that Congress try to decide President Trump’s fate rather than allow the American people to do so. But given the left’s actions over the last four years, who would be surprised?

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