The Trump Impeachment

The Failure of Bourgeois Law or, When the President Does It…It is Not Illegal

Trump is the Emperor who has no clothes. Since he was elected, his courtiers, the media and many residents of the United States have acted like the crowds in the classic fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” going along with the charade that Trump is equal to his vanity or, at the least, not as bad as he originally seemed. His courtiers are more than willing to play his game as long as he cuts their taxes, locks up immigrants, and encourages white supremacists to run loose across the land. His detractors in power go on pretending, as well. After all, many of them are reaping the benefits of his tax cuts and, because he is so bad, they end up looking good. There are detractors, for sure, but they are from groups the powerful consider the usual discontents—intellectuals, students, leftists, Blacks, Latinos and a number of women.

Anybody expecting an investigation into the nature of the US presidency, the Congress or the foreign service was bound to be disappointed if they thought these impeachment proceedings would provide that. History tells us that presidential impeachments barely ever touch the secrets of the State. Even in the 1970s during the Nixon proceedings, it was the violations of campaign law by his re-election committee and the subsequent attempted cover-up of those violations that forced Nixon out of office. The revelations regarding FBI, CIA and NSA violations of the law and other criminal acts by forces of the state were only uncovered afterward in hearings conducted by Senator Frank Church. Of course, it is unlikely the Church hearings would have occurred if the impeachment proceedings had never taken place. That being said, it is interesting to note that this particular impeachment is specifically focused on the way foreign policy is manipulated in the halls of power.

To read this article, log in here or subscribe here.
If you are logged in but can't read CP+ articles, check the status of your access here
In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He has a new book, titled Nowhere Land: Journeys Through a Broken Nation coming out in Spring 2024.   He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at:

CounterPunch Magazine Archive

Read over 400 magazine and newsletter back issues here

Support CounterPunch

Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation and enjoy access to CP+.  Donate Now

Support our evolving Subscribe Area and enjoy access to all Subscribers content.  Subscribe