Quo usque tandem abutere, Catalina, patentia nostra? (How long, Cataline, will you abuse our patience)—Cicero
It is very simple to have Trump remove himself from the presidency. It requires neither impeachment nor a finding of incapacity by the cabinet.
Indeed, it takes only one house of Congress, (perhaps only one committee?).
Subpoena his taxes.
I predicted early on that Trump would never, ever, under any condition, reveal his tax returns. His whole psychological edifice is based on his brand. Let’s face it: what kind of moron sues for defamation because someone says his net worth is not X? (During the deposition in that case, Trump claimed his “brand’s value” was “based on how he was feeling that day”).
His tax returns would reveal the truth. Resigning the presidency “on principle”, as he would spin it, is far less of an existential threat to his psyche than for the world to discover the narcissist’s true net worth.
If either the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), or the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Rob Johnson (R-WI), were to open an investigation into Trump’s likely abundant conflicts-of-interest, illegal leasehold, and emoluments clause violations, it would be impossible to do so without the tax returns.
Trump, of course, would fight the subpoenas, but he would have little chance of prevailing in court. Once the final determination were made that he had to produce his tax returns, Trump would resign the office, uttering some psychobabble about his belief in the Constitution (that he shows few signs of having read nor caring that he hasn’t read it) and right to privacy.
The reason that neither Chaffetz nor Johnson will open investigations is that, once open, Trump’s demise is guaranteed regardless of the particular findings because they would have to subpoena his taxes. He will resign the presidency rather than release his taxes. [He will negotiate a deal that the subpoenas will be quashed upon his leaving office].
Rubles-to-rum, Vladimir Putin already has Trump’s tax returns. If I perceived the depths of Trump’s extreme psychological vulnerability to their publication long ago, psyops expert Vladimir Putin certainly did long before that. Criminal enterprises can hack the IRS computers, so how hard would it be for Russian software engineers? Trump’s accountants would be an even easier target.
If Putin has his taxes, he is unlikely to want to trigger Trump’s resignation—he is, after all, his boy—and thus will allow him some leeway to appear tough toward Russia. But, Putin will use the leverage his has to its maximum advantage without tripping Trump into impeachment or resignation.
So-called President Trump is becoming increasingly at odds with Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). They could be deciding votes as to whether to subpoena his tax records in conjunction with investigating Russian collusion with Trump. The so-called President has said both that he knows Putin well—to the point where Putin supposedly confided in him years ago his lack of respect for Obama—and that he had never met or spoken to him. His son, Don, Jr., claimed a lot of Russian money in Trump enterprises whereas Daddy just said the opposite.
Senate committees investigating the Russian connections may very well decide, therefore, that they need to see Trump’s taxes to understand the links. The FBI will have to do so. There is no answer the Trumps can provide that has any more credibility that what they have already said that is self-contradictory.
Thus, no extraordinary action is necessary to have Trump remove himself from office. No hearings or votes or palace intrigue is required. There are very good reasons to subpoena his tax returns, both on the conflicts case and the Russian connection. No judge would quash it.
We could be rid of him in a flash. Vlad will shed tears, but the world will be a much safer place.