Politics

Weld: It’s Time for Trump to Resign

No government can function effectively when there is a crisis of trust in the presidency.
by Bill Weld
April 24, 2019
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(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

If Donald Trump is an American patriot, he should resign from office.

In the 2016 campaign, Senator Ted Cruz described Trump as a “pathological liar.” The Mueller report carefully documents the truth of Senator Cruz’s description. The relationship between a democratic government and its citizens is based on mutual trust and respect. How can a president function if he instinctively lies to not only the public but to his own staff? There is one essential truth that leaps from the pages of the Mueller report: No one can trust Donald Trump.

Following the release of the Mueller report, Trump claimed with his usual arrogance and ignorance that he has been vindicated. In truth, the Mueller report revealed that Trump is a one-man crime wave.

Time and again, Trump tried to use the power of the Oval Office to protect himself and his associates from the consequences of their actions. The only defense Trump has to obstruction of justice is that he was too incompetent to carry it off. Over the past two years, several Trump aides derailed his criminal conspiracies by distracting the president, or simply ignoring him. Trump’s failure to stop Bob Mueller does not negate how hard he tried.

The Mueller report lifted up the rock and left Trump’s minions scurrying for cover. Already, five Trump associates have been convicted of serious crimes, including his former campaign manager, his longtime personal attorney, and his former national security advisor. And we don’t yet know the extent of criminality within the Trump campaign or the Trump White House because he Mueller report includes 12 criminal referrals that have been redacted to protect ongoing cases.

Trump pressured then-FBI Director James Comey to go easy on National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, hoping Comey could “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” When Comey refused to put Trump and his inner circle above the law, Trump fired him. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

When Mike Pompeo was running the CIA, Trump pushed him to tell the public that Trump had had nothing to do with Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. He bragged to Russian diplomats that firing Comey had taken off “great pressure because of Russia.”

Fortunately, Bob Mueller was able to do his job despite Trump’s constant interference. But it is worth noting that those aides who pushed back against Trump’s worst instincts have since been pushed out of the White House. Who is left to stop Trump from abusing his authority to benefit himself and his cronies now?

For two years, Trump tried repeatedly to derail Mueller’s investigation and repeatedly lied to the public about his own words and actions. He even dangled pardons for witnesses who were telling Mueller exactly what Trump had been doing in the Oval Office. In total, the special counsel found ten instances of possible obstruction of justice.

Whether this clear pattern of obstruction warrants impeachment is the purview of the House of Representatives. But regardless of what they decide, the facts revealed in the Mueller report confirm that Donald Trump is not to be trusted. There is no reason to believe a word he says about anything, and the American people deserve better.

Just as concerning, the report reveals his tenuous grasp on government and the chaos within his administration. No one in his administration trusts him, they feel free to ignore his orders, and they are as dishonest with him as he is with them. No government can function effectively this way. There is a crisis of trust in this presidency. It cannot stand.

Donald Trump lies to his own staff. He lies to the American people. He lies to our allies. Strangely, the only time Trump seems capable of telling the truth is when he’s in the company of dictators and tyrants. He seems to envy their approach to power.

As the damning truths of the Mueller report became public, Trump went on a Twitter rant against those former aides who told the truth. Trump’s rampant dishonesty and paranoia render him incapable of serving as president. For once, he should put the good of the United States ahead of his own ego and resign.

The American public, our international allies, the very rule of law itself would all be better served with a President Mike Pence.

So, the question is a basic one: Is Donald Trump truly an American patriot?

Bill Weld

Bill Weld served two terms as Governor of Massachusetts and is a Republican candidate for President of the United States.