Trump’s Mental State Deteriorating Dangerously Due To Impeachment

Trump’s Mental State Deteriorating Dangerously Due To Impeachment

By Staff, The Independent

A group of mental health professionals led by a trio of preeminent psychiatrists is urging the House Judiciary Committee to consider Donald Trump’s “dangerous” mental state arising from his “brittle sense of self-worth” as part of its inquiry into whether to approve articles of impeachment against him.

“We are speaking out at this time because we are convinced that, as the time of possible impeachment approaches, Donald Trump has the real potential to become ever more dangerous, a threat to the safety of our nation,” said Yale Medical School Professor Dr. Bandy Lee, George Washington University Professor Dr. John Zinner, and former CIA profiler Dr. Jerrold Post in a statement which will be sent to House Judiciary Committee members on Thursday.

The statement will be accompanied by a petition with at least 350 signatures from mental health professionals endorsing their conclusions.

All three psychiatrists have said they are willing to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry.

The statement warns that “[f]ailing to monitor or to understand the psychological aspects [of impeachment on Mr. Trump], or discounting them, could lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

“[W]e implore Congress to take these danger signs seriously and to constrain his destructive impulses. We and many others are available to give important relevant recommendations as well as to educate the public so that we can maximize our collective safety,” the psychiatrists write.

While Dr. Lee and her colleagues have previously offered themselves to be consulted by impeachment investigators, she told The Independent they felt it necessary to come forward once more because the US president is “is ramping up his conspiracy theories” and “showing a great deal of cruelty and vindictiveness” in his “accelerated, repetitive tweets,” which she explained are signs that he is “doubling and a tripling down on his delusions”.

“I believe that they fit the pattern of delusions rather than just plain lies,” she continued, pointing to the claim he made during a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, that “many legal scholars” were “looking at the transcripts” of his 25 July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and agreeing with his description of the call as “absolutely perfect” as an example of his pathology.

Dr. Lee, an expert on violence prevention, acknowledged that members of congress – especially Republicans who are supportive of the president – might dismiss the warning she and her colleagues are delivering as just a product of differences of political opinion, but stressed that the fact that they should be taken seriously because their training enables them to recognize Trump is exhibiting “definitive signs of severe pathology of someone who requires an advanced level of care” and who “meets every criterion of lacking a rational  decision making capacity”.

“The one thing that we are trained to do is to distinguish between what is healthy and what is abnormal, and when the pattern of abnormality fits, then we recognize that it is pathology and not part of the wide variation of which healthy human beings are capable,” she said. “What we recognize is a pattern of disease and that may look like another political ideology or another political style to the everyday person who is unfamiliar with pathology, but to us it is a very recognizable pattern.”

Dr. Lee explained that the president’s continued embrace of conspiracy theories was actually a public health issue because of his ability to draw members of the public into a “shared psychosis at the national level”.

“His detachment from reality… his pathology is actually gaining ground more quickly than the ability of rational actors to bring up the facts,” she said, adding that the House should consider these issues in the same way they are examining the legal and constitutional aspects of impeachment.

“They are having four constitutional scholars testify, but alongside the legal aspects, we must consider the psychological aspects. In fact, the psychological aspects are more basic because the legal process presumes psychological health and equipment and capacity,” she said.

Dr. Zinner, a former National Institutes of Mental Health researcher who has taught about and consulted with intelligence agencies on narcissistic personality disorders, told The Independent that members of congress need to be warned about the danger impeachment poses when the presidency is held by someone of Trump’s pathology, which he described as a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

“Impeachment is the greatest threat to his self-esteem that he’s experienced so far, and we’re very worried that his rage will be even more destructive than it’s been in the past,” he said.

He also dismissed Republicans who defend Trump by claiming that his style is that of a blunt-talking New York businessman as “simply ignorant about the whole area of psychology that pertains to him”.

“These aren’t alternative viewpoints,” Dr. Zinner explained, calling one “the product of very sound psychology… that comes from mainly from psychoanalytic theory, but is very established and sound and studied,” and the other “just ignorance and dismissiveness”.

Dr. Zinner said the goal of the petition is to reach legislators to educate them. “Most people don’t really know this is a coherent, well-studied, well-defined condition,” he said.

“Even those that don’t dismiss [the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder] say, ‘well, you know, these are just a lot of random bad, insane behaviors,’ but they don’t see how it coheres around the self-esteem issue,” he continued.

“And others, they say, ‘well, he’s a liar and he’s a cheat and he exploits people and all of that stuff,’ but those are just random traits, whereas all of it hangs together around his developmental deficiency of not having an internal stable self-esteem.”

Donald Trump repeatedly refused to believe intelligence briefings, former deputy director says

He rejected the suggestion that the so-called Goldwater rule prohibits him from speaking out on the president’s mental state. The Goldwater rule suggests that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give opinions on the mental health of someone they have not personally examined.

But Dr. Zinner said: “It’s not a rule, it’s really a principle or a standard, which is very different because the preamble of the code of ethics of the American Psychiatric Association that establishes the basic guidelines for the ethical canons says that a psychiatrist’s responsibility, first and foremost, is to his or her patients and to society and to his colleagues and himself in that order.

“You know … the people that have written most strongly in favor for the rule themselves have diagnosed Trump. In other words, they’re total hypocrites,” he said, before adding that a one-on-one interview wasn’t necessary to diagnose the president because of his myriad public statements and public behavior.

Dr. Post, who created psychological profiles of the “Israeli” entity’s former prime minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s former president Anwar Sadat for former president Jimmy Carter to use when negotiating the Camp David Accords, and who founded the CIA’s Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, told The Independent that evidence of Trump’s lack of self-esteem and the danger that impeachment will bring by exacerbating his precarious mental state can be found in the way he pardons convicted war criminals like Navy Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher and labels them heroes.

“He’s identified with these war criminals because he knows that he’s being seen as a criminal. So he’s trying to redefine them as heroes, just like he is. People challenge his intelligence, so he accuses Maxine Walters of being ‘low IQ’ and says, but I’m a stable genius,” said Dr. Post, who founded George Washington University’s Political Psychology Center after his retirement from the CIA.

Dr. Post warned the strong connection between Trump and his followers means the possibility he would call for violence against his perceived political enemies “cannot be discounted”.

“Watching his rallies, there’s an almost palpable connection between Trump and his followers, who have taken his invitation to externalize and project their problems upon [other groups],” he said. “He’s basically saying he understands where their problems are coming from and he will rescue them, so to hurt their rescuer is very painful [for his followers] indeed.”

Any challenge to Trump’s power, whether impeachment or an election loss next November, could be a significant trauma for him and his supporters, Dr. Post said.

Asked for a prediction of how Trump would react to either, Dr. Post invoked the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas: “He will not go gentle into that good night, but will rage, rage at the dying of the light.”

US Threatens Lebanon: Leave Hezbollah or Total Collapse

US Threatens Lebanon: Leave Hezbollah or Total Collapse

By Marwa Osman

Beirut – On March 22, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Beirut threatening the Lebanese by giving them two options: either confront Hezbollah or pay the price. What Pompeo said eight months ago was repeated by former US ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman, before Congress. What he meant was that the Lebanese had two options: either to adhere to Washington’s policies, or to collapse. Washington’s policies also mean standing up to Hezbollah [in his testimony, Feltman repeated the word Hezbollah’s 49 times], weakening his allies in any future elections, and forming a technocratic government.

Jeffrey Felmann presented his vision of the situation in Lebanon. “What happens is related to American interests,” he said. The mobility in Congress seemed remarkable, as the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism [a branch of the House Foreign Affairs Committee] met in a session entitled:

“What is next for Lebanon?

The demonstrations, that the US is so interested in, has been taking place in Lebanon since October 17, are according to Feltman “not about the United States”. Feltman cautioned that it is necessary for his country to avoid turning the focal point of the protests against the US, because the outcome of what is happening will affect Washington’s interests, whether positive or negative, “in what could be a pivotal moment in the history of Lebanon.”

Over the years, many have been surprised by Lebanon’s amazing ability to stay afloat. Remaining intact politically and economically, amid circumstances suggesting an imminent collapse. Feltman pointed out that predictions of Lebanon’s fate often proved wrong. This time, however, it seems different. Lebanon’s internal and external debt management is not only increasingly complex in a stagnated economy, but the public is exhausted and angry at the sectarian rhetoric and lame excuses used by political leaders to advance their narrow political and financial interests. As a result, the Lebanese political system as a whole is subject to hostile public scrutiny, and Hezbollah, according to Feltman, is only the target of such scrutiny.

Feltman’s preposterous propaganda was not surprising, given Pompeo concluded his visit last March by seemingly encouraging an uprising against Hezbollah when he said,

“It will take courage for the nation of Lebanon to stand up to Hezbollah’s criminality, terror, and threats.”

Pompeo’s threat was clear: If Lebanon fails to limit Hezbollah’s political and military power, it would risk not just losing US aid but also a more severe response, possibly in the form of debilitating national sanctions.

Pompeo attacked the Lebanese Resistance for carrying out “Iran’s agenda” in the region at the expense of Lebanon’s domestic order and “the prosperity of future generations.” However, what the secretary of state fails to comprehend is that if the United States follows through on this plan to inflict collective punishment on Lebanon over Hezbollah, the results are likely to be the opposite of what administration officials intend.

Hezbollah’s allies inside Lebanon are today ever more defensiveness towards the party to a point that it seems US officials have completely misunderstood our internal political system. Pompeo, Feltman and whoever is hoping to damage Hezbollah with these protests, has completely missed the fact that Lebanon’s sectarian political system forbids treating Hezbollah, which has a parliamentary faction legitimately elected into office, as an illegal entity. US officials and their regional and local affiliates seem to have missed that the military power of Hezbollah, with its Iranian weapons and training that no one is denying, is superior to that of the Lebanese Armed Forces. It has successfully branded itself to the Lebanese public as capable of standing up to Israel in ways that the Lebanese army manifestly cannot.

Even Lebanese officials critical of Hezbollah dismissed Pompeo’s calls to directly challenge the group, warning that were they to follow his advice, the country could descend into a second civil war. That assessment may be overly exaggerated. The United States, however, is undoubtedly risking Lebanon’s basic stability in ways that may ultimately benefit Hezbollah rather than harm it.

The United States, which has already imposed sanctions against Hezbollah leaders and Hezbollah-affiliated businesses, hopes to step up pressure on the Shia community, could now risk facing resistance even from the US’s local allies, who fear that pushing too hard could trigger a backlash and endanger the tiny country’s fragile peace.

President Aoun, Hezbollah’s biggest ally in Lebanon, has repeated on many occasions that the country’s priority is to preserve national unity and peace while affirming especially during his latest TV interview last week that

“Hezbollah is a Lebanese party that has a popular base representing one of the main [religious] sects in the country.”

It simply now seems that the American efforts to weaken and isolate Hezbollah might have only succeeded in creating countless practical problems for the party that it can outmaneuver in simple steps but did nothing to accomplish the fundamental United States goal of containing Hezbollah politically and militarily.

Meanwhile, lasting effect of US policy is yet to be seen. However, even when we have the likes of Pompeo and Feltman believing the US should adopt a more nuanced approach towards Hezbollah, it is only normal fathom that the United States has limited power to coerce actions from Lebanese politicians and institutions. The question the Trump administration should be asking is whether sweeping sanctions against the Lebanese government and institutions would weaken Hezbollah or rather strengthen it in the longer run.

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US Senator Makes Unannounced Visit to Lebanon, Meets Army Commander

Murphy was received by General Joseph Aoun at his office in the Defense Ministry in Yarzeh.

Source

November 26, 2019

US Senator Chris Murphy on Monday arrived on an unannounced visit to Lebanon, where he met the Army Commander General Joseph Aoun.

In a tweet, the US senator said he arrived in Lebanon to ‘assess’ American military aid to the country.

He stressed that the administration of President Donald Trump cannot withhold any assistance already authorized by Congress, after reports said that Trump’s administration has been withholding some $105 million in security assistance to Lebanon that was already authorized by Congress.

“I just arrived in Lebanon to see firsthand the efficacy of US aid to the Lebanese military, a force for stability here at an unstable moment,” Murphy said via Twitter.

“Important: the aid is congressionally mandated. Like the Ukraine aid, by law it cannot be withheld by POTUS [the president of the United States]. Stay tuned for more.”

Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported that Murphy was received by General Joseph Aoun at his office in the Defense Ministry in Yarzeh. The US senator was heading a delegation that included US Ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth Richard, according to NNA.

According to reports in multiple US media outlets, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not given the approval to release the funds, which the Congress allocated for the Lebanese Armed Forces.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the OMB is holding up the aid at the direction of the National Security Council, another department within the White House.

 

Netanyahu’s Real Crimes

Global Research, November 26, 2019
Arab American Institute 23 November 2019

After years of investigation and months of delay, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit formally indicted Benjamin Netanyahu for crimes ranging from his violation of public trust to bribery and fraud. Israel’s apologists will argue that the fact that a sitting Prime Minister has been charged with crimes against the state and people presents compelling evidence of the country’s democracy and commitment to the rule of law. This is the very point that Mandelblit made in announcing the indictments – “The public interest requires that we live in a country where no one is above the law.” However, this is only partially true since it appears that in Israel the principles of democracy or the rule of law only apply to Israeli Jews or the interests of the state, itself. In fact, Netanyahu’s entire sordid career is evidence of the selectiveness of Israelis’ sense of justice.

In the past the Netanyahu household has been charged with some of the pettiest forms of corruption imaginable. For example, his wife was found guilty of taking the empty bottles from beverages consumed at official state functions and keeping the money she received for turning them for recycling. The Netanyahus were also known to bring three weeks of dirty laundry on two-day official state trips and sending them to the hotel in which they were staying for a night so that the cleaning bill would be charged to the state’s budget. This is the sort of past petty thievery for which the Netanyahus were famous.

Looking at the recent indictments, it is clear that the Prime Minister has graduated to bigger and better forms of fraud and corruption. What’s striking, however, is that all of the crimes with which he is charged were focused on feeding his ego or his appetites. In some instances, they were favors done for a businessman in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts, in others they were the corrupt deals he made with various media tycoons in which he promised them benefits in exchange for their guaranteeing him positive coverage in their news outlets.

There is no doubt, that in all of these cases, Netanyahu’s behavior has been clearly criminal and reprehensible, and, as described by the Attorney General, a breach of the public’s trust. But what I find so striking and disturbing, is that these crimes pale in significance when compared to what Netanyahu has done to the Palestinian people and the prospect for Israeli-Palestinian peace – crimes for which he will not be called to account.

After Oslo, Netanyahu organized a back-door lobby to mobilize US Congressional opposition to the peace accords. This was the first time an Israeli lobby worked in the US to oppose their own government. He should have been charged with treason.

Back in Israel, during the same period, he organized with Ariel Sharon and a few others a smear campaign of incitement against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The campaign was so virulent and threatening that many Israelis, including Rabin’s wife, held Netanyahu responsible for Rabin’s assassination. Netanyahu should have been charged with incitement.

Image result for yitzhak rabin death

In 1996, he was elected Prime Minister on a platform dedicated to ending the peace process and he did everything he could to slow down, distort, and ultimately sabotage the Oslo Peace Process. Even the agreement he signed with the Palestinians at Wye so encumbered the process that by the end of his first term in office, peace was on life support.  He should have been charged with destroying the prospects for peace and putting at risk the lives of millions.

During his last three terms in office, he incited violence and hatred against Palestinians, both those who are citizens of Israel and those living under occupation. This has fueled extremist settler movements that have engaged in daily acts of violence, destruction of property, and murder. He also encouraged soldiers in the Israeli army to murder defenseless Palestinians and supported them when they were charged with crimes. In addition, as he did with Rabin, he has falsely accused his Israeli opponents of being too close to the Arabs and accused the Palestinian citizens of Israel of being enemies of the state. He should have been charged with hate crimes.

During his time in office he has: expanded settlements on stolen Palestinian land and the demolition of Palestinian property; overseen a number of devastating assaults on Gaza resulting in the indiscriminate massacre of thousands of innocent civilians and the destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure; instituted and maintained a cruel blockade of Gaza’s population, as an act of collective punishment, in which, for long periods of time, food, medicine, and other essential items were restricted or severely regulated – resulting in death, disease, and impoverishment of millions of innocents. He should have been charged with war crimes.

The list could go on, but this should suffice.

The bottom line is that, to be sure, Netanyahu is a criminal. But in today’s Israel he can’t be found guilty of his most serious crimes – treason, incitement, destroying peace, hate crimes, and war crimes. Instead, he will be asked only to answer for his narcissistic appetites and corruption.

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The Mother of Messes in Syria

Image result for The Mother of Messes in Syria

October 20, 2019

Eric S. MARGOLIS

What a mess. The imperial cooks in Washington have turned poor Syria into a poison pit of warring factions, with disastrous results for all.

Henry Kissinger once quipped that it is more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy. A good example is how Washington used the Kurds in Syria to fight ISIS and then ditched them to face the wrath of the mighty Turkish military alone.

A great hue and cry has gone up from the US corporate media and Congress that the Kurds are being betrayed. The evangelical far right and Israel’s supporters are leading this charge. Israel has secretly been arming and aiding Kurds in Iraq, Iran and Syria since 1975 as a dandy way of splintering the fragile Arab Mideast.

But President Trump was right when he said that the Kurds had been richly paid by Washington for their services, adding ‘they are no angels.’ Some facts ignored by the US media:

– Kurds, a tribal, non-Semitic people of Persian origin are, like Palestinians, a stateless people who are sand in the eye of the Mideast. They inhabit the uplands of Syria, Iraq, Armenia, and Iran. Kurds are a handsome, warlike people renowned for their fighting abilities and courage. They have long battled neighboring Arab and Iranian tribes over pasture land and water resources.

– The Obama administration got talked into arming and financing the extremist Islamic State group by the deep state and Israel as a way of overthrowing Syria’s secular government, an ally of Iran. The US-equipped Iraqi Army sent to fight IS ran for their lives. When Islamic State threatened Baghdad, the US Air Force intervened and crushed it. Rogue elements of Islamic State ran amok, creating all sorts of atrocities. Some IS units still receive covert Israeli cross-border support.

The US found it expedient to pay Kurdish militias, known as YPG, to fight remnants of the rag-tag IS, an armed mob whose danger was wildly exaggerated by western media. IS was a perfect excuse to keep US military forces in the Mideast. Turkey helped arm IS.

– Turkey’s Kurdish minority is 15-20% of its 80 million people. The dangerous Marxist PKK movement has been calling for an independent Kurdish state since the 1980’s. I covered the war in Turkey’s southern Anatolia between the PKK and the Turkish Army, a bloody affair of bombings and massacres that left over 40,000 dead. Turks go ballistic at the very mention of an independent Kurdish state, calling Kurds ‘mountain Turks’ and Marxist `terrorists.’

Kurds were harshly repressed by various Turkish governments and their generals. But when the Ottoman Turks marched tens of thousands of Armenian prisoners to Syria during World War I, Kurdish tribes raped and massacred them in great numbers. In the 1920’s, the sainted Winston Churchill authorized use of poison gas against ‘unruly’ Kurdish and Afghan tribes.

– US attempts to overthrow Syria’s government created national chaos. The scrubby eastern third of Syria had a mixed tribal population, but the Kurdish YPG militia declared it independent from Syria, declaring a new Kurdish state called Rojava. To no surprise, a confusing melee developed between Syrian forces and Arab tribal fighters, US units, Kurdish militias, IS and tribes aligned to Damascus. Turkey, aghast at the prospects of an independent Kurdish state next door, decided to send in its army which had been demanding action against armed Kurdish groups.

Into this maelstrom strode Donald Trump, who knew nothing about Syria. There were only about 1,000 US troops in Syria, but they could call down the US Air Force based in nearby Qatar. These token troops are being withdrawn to neighboring Iraq, which remain a US-occupied nation with a puppet government, an American garrison of at least 5,000 troops, and oceans of oil.

In short, Syria is being ground up by wars for no good purpose. Turkey made a grave error by joining efforts to overthrow Syria’s Assad regime. The US, France, Britain and Israel have no business at all there. Only Russia has a legitimate geopolitical interest in Syria, which is close to its southern border. So far, Vlad Putin has played a very skillful game of big power chess in Syria while the US has blundered time and again.

ericmargolis.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Turkish Military Incursion in N Syria: «Peace Spring» Operation

Trump Ally Graham: Syria Pullout Would Be Nightmare for «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to pull back US troops from northern Syria drew quick, strong criticism Monday from some of his closest allies in Congress, among them South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who warned that the move would ultimately be “a nightmare” for the “Israeli” entity.

“By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible,” Graham said on Twitter.

“America is an unreliable ally and it’s just a matter of time before China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea act out in dangerous ways. The US now has no leverage and Syria will eventually become a nightmare for ‘Israel’,” the normally close ally of the president said.

It was condemned, too, by Kurdish fighters who would be abandoned to face a likely Turkish assault after fighting alongside Americans for years against the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”].

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into US relations with European allies.

Syria’s Kurds accused the US of turning its back on allies and risking gains made in the years-long fight against Daesh.

Trump defended his decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

If the Turks go too far, he tweeted later, “I in my great and unmatched wisdom” will destroy their economy.

Hours after the White House announcement, two senior State Department officials minimized the effects of the US action, telling reporters that only about two dozen American troops would be removed from the Turkey-Syria border, not all the US forces in the northeast of the country. They also said Turkey may not go through with a large-scale invasion and the US was still trying to discourage it.

Both officials spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss what led to the internal White House decision.

Both Republicans and Democrats in the US have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds and send a troubling message to American allies across the globe.

US troops “will not support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area,” in northern Syria, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an unusual late-Sunday statement that was silent on the fate of the Kurds.

There are about 1,000 US troops in northern Syria, and a senior US official said they will pull back from the area – and could depart the country entirely should widespread fighting break out between Turkish and Kurdish forces.

For the moment, the US troops are not leaving Syria, officials said.

A US official confirmed that American troops were already moving out of the security zone area, which includes the Syrian towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad. That official was not authorized to speak for the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

Sunday’s announcement followed a call between Trump and Erdogan, the White House said Sunday.

The decision is an illustration of Trump’s focus on ending American overseas entanglements – one of his key campaign promises. His goals of swift withdrawals in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been stymied.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry at home, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

The Turkish Military Incursion in N Syria: «Peace Spring» Operation

By Staff, U-feedCenter

An infographic detailing Turkey’s 3rd military incursion into northern Syria dubbed Operation “Peace Spring”.

The Turkish Military Incursion in N Syria: «Peace Spring» Operation

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Prof. William O. Beeman: Impeachment of Trump for Democrats is A Gamble

Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:19
TEHRAN (FNA)- Prof. William O. Beeman, chair of the anthropology department at the State University of Minnesota, says some Democrats point out that Trump really has committed a crime, and if they don’t impeach him, they will be supporting his criminal action.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with FNA, Professor Beeman said, “These people fear that their own Democratic voters will punish them for not impeaching.”

He also said “for Democrats this process is a gamble”.

William Orman Beeman is an American scholar whose specialty is the Middle East;[1] he is a professor of anthropology at The University of Minnesota, where he is Chair of the Department of Anthropology. For many years he was Professor of Anthropology; Theatre, Speech and Dance; and East Asian Studies at Brown University.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: Following Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President, the impeachment of Trump has come under serious scrutiny. Trump’s impeachment was to be postponed until after the 2020 US presidential election. Why did the Democrats activate Trump’s impeachment plan?

A: The House of Representatives has not voted to hold impeachment hearings yet. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has opened “impeachment investigations” through six House of Representatives committees. They have purposely not voted to open formal impeachment hearings to protect Democrats who were elected from districts that voted for President Trump, and who might be in danger in the 2020 elections from voters who favor Trump. However, many people expect that the impeachment hearings will be voted on soon, and that the President might be impeached before the end of November (the Thanksgiving Holiday)

Q: US Senate is said to be unlikely to get Trump removed from office. What could be the price of an unsuccessful impeachment of President Trump for the Democrats?

A: The House of Representatives impeaches a president or other government officials with a simple majority vote. The impeachment does not lead to removal. It is just a formal accusation. The Senate then tries the official, like a court, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court trying to hearings. After this trial, the Senate can remove him or her from office with a 2/3 majority vote. Impeachment of Trump (the formal accusation) is likely to succeed in the House of Representatives The removal of the president is likely to fail in the Senate, because Republicans are the majority in the Senate, and reaching a 2/3 majority (67 Senators) voting to remove the president is likely impossible.

Many Democrats feel that impeaching the President but not removing him from office is dangerous for them. They feel that if the Senate does not remove him, he will claim that he has been exonerated, and that the impeachment itself was a partisan effort on the part of Democrats and had no merit. Democrats feel that this will result in Trump being re-elected in 2020, and the loss of Democratic seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Other Democrats point out that Trump really has committed a crime, and if they don’t impeach him, they will be supporting his criminal action. These people fear that their own Democratic voters will punish them for not impeaching.

So you see, this is a difficult political decision for Democrats. At present there is no clear outcome for the impeachment process.

Q: What are the odds for Trump’s removal. Will his impeachment lead to his dismissal?

A: No, the impeachment is just a formal accusation–an indictment. The president can only be removed by a 2/3 vote in the Senate after the impeachment is approved.

Q: How will Trump’s impeachment and its consequences affect the 2020 US presidential election?

A: Trump thinks that if he is impeached and not removed, it will help him with voters. Some Democrats agree. Other Democrats feel that the impeachment investigation itself will expose his crimes and make him less attractive to voters. So for Democrats this process is a gamble. Personally, I feel that Trump will not be removed from office, and may even be re-elected. A great deal will depend on which candidate Democrats choose to run against Trump.

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