President Donald Trump sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, railing against his impending impeachment. Like, an actual letter, on White House stationary. Instead of his usual thing of saying batshit crazy things on Twitter, this time he scrawled the batshit on an official Presidential document.
I’m sorry, I know I’m desensitized to Trump’s mania, and I shouldn’t be, but I am fresh out of pearls to clutch. The President is a dangerous lunatic, his letter reads like the ravings a dangerous lunatic, and treating the letter like it’s “news” requires some suspension of disbelief about the dangerous lunatic running the country for the past three years that I can no longer muster.
At least this one was edited. The last time we saw Trump’s writing on the printed page, he was writing to Turkish President Recep Erdogan the way a third-grader writes to pen-pal they’re forced to have through school.
His letter to Pelosi was clearly principally written by an aide, you can tell because it’s written at maybe a fifth-grade level as opposed to third, and with just a few Trumpism interspersed throughout.
Like, you can tell the aide wrote the opening sentence:
I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Trump lacks the vocabulary to write this sentence. Here, “strongest” and “most powerful” are used to modify “protest.” But Trump doesn’t use “protest” as noun, he only uses it as a verb. And he thinks “strong” and “powerful” are only available as adverbs. Also he thinks protest is something women do too much. So, in the original Trump, this sentence probably looked like “I object, strongly, and so, so powerfully, most powerfully really, about your partisan impeachment crusade.”
In the second paragraph, you can see precisely where Trump overruled his aides and put his own language in there. See if you can spot it (it’s not hard):
The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever. You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!
Right? Referring to things by their correct proper nouns, like “Articles of Impeachment” and “House Judiciary Committee” are not things that Trump is capable of doing. And I bet all the money in my pocket that he does not know what “jurisprudence” means. But “You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!” That’s straight Trump, right down to the exclamation point. “Very” is one of five or six modifiers he knows, and “ugly” is word that he uses almost exclusively when talking to or about a woman. Like a Pavlovian dog who drools even when there is no food presented, he thinks that “ugly” is the single worst thing you can say (outside of a locker room) about a woman, and so he throws that word in there regardless of the context when he thinks he’s speaking to one.
You can play this game throughout the whole document. It’s almost fun, like going to a masquerade ball and trying to guess who’s behind the masks. And in the same way that playing the guessing game at the masquerade ball distracts you from the fact that you’re at some detestable high society jaunt and really you and all your fellow guests should be eaten by a righteous proletariat, playing the game with Trump’s letter is a grand distraction from the fact that the President of the United States is engaging in outright lies, conspiracy theories, and setting the stage for his supporters to violently defend him if necessary.
But… I guess we have to talk about that part too:
By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy.
It’s actually Trump who wants his supporters to declare open war on American Democracy, should the Constitutional process of impeachment move forward. Not that most of his most violent supporters can be bothered to read something longer than 240 characters.
Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying pray for the President, when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!
He wrote that last bit. It’s just like his Erdogan letter where he projected history looking at Erdogan “forever as the devil.”
You know that I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine. I then had a second conversation that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented. Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect. I said to President Zelensky: would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign.
If this were a comic book, and really no comic book universe would try to get away with the storylines in present-day America, you’d call this a “retcon.” Trump asked for a personal favor, for his campaign, in exchange for releasing funding and weapons, but that backstory doesn’t fit with where he wants to take the story next, so he’s just changing it. Lying about it. Pretending the old thing never happened the way everybody read it happening.
All these pull quotes are just from the first page of this lunacy. THERE ARE SIX OF THEM.
Impeachment vote is tomorrow. I need to check if I have enough popcorn in the house.
Letter from President Trump
Elie Mystal is the Executive Editor of Above the Law and a contributor at The Nation. He can be reached @ElieNYC on Twitter, or at email@example.com. He will resist.
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