COMMENTARY: Could Trump allegations lead to a constitutional crisis?

White House (Photo by: Matt H. Wade | Wiki Commons)
White House (Photo by: Matt H. Wade | Wiki Commons)
By Ron Edwards

Betrayal is a dangerous charge against anyone entrusted with a nation’s security. As this column is being written, the nation is on edge, waiting to know whether to trust President Trump with the protection of America and its constitution. Our nation’s safety and security hang in the balance.

The latest allegations that Trump is in collusion with and has greater obedience and relationship to Russia and Vladimir Putin than to America are chilling and not to be dismissed lightly.  If true, they threaten the very foundation of the institutions of America’s democracy, as this column has long reported.

The reports in newspapers, magazines and journals, broadcast news programs and investigative specials, combined with the review of court filings against the presidents’ associates and others, have exposed a potential dark side of those involved in the governance of our country.

The president keeps saying there was no collusion. But, the level of discomfort in our democratic institutions represents clear and present dangers — the kinds that cause nations and their democratic institutions to fail.

One way or another, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his ongoing investigation will state whether the allegations against the president are seen as true or not true.

“I don’t know what that report is going to have in it,” said Representative Elijah Cummings during an appearance on 60 Minutes on January 13. “One thing I do know, though, is whatever it is, even if it exonerates the president… I want … the Congress to have it, and I want the public to have it so that everybody can make a judgment,” he said.

“We are in a fight for the soul of our democracy,” added Rep. Cummings. “This is serious business.”

As chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Rep. Cummings will be empowered — and this is key — with constitutional authority to both compel testimony and demand documents,  especially those Republicans who have heretofore blocked. As CBS News reported, “the committee has the constitutional authority to investigate anything it wants…making Cummings one of the most powerful people in Washington.”

Losing the House may have been the best thing for Republicans, for who would believe Muellers’ report? This is why so many Republicans are uneasy, wondering whether the man who was entrusted with America’s security is guilty of the allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Not since the secession crisis of 1860 has this country been faced with a constitutional crisis as grave as this one. The branches of government were designed to include everyone  — “we the people” — which is why it is imperative that the political parties of this nation quickly devise, commit to and implement a compromise and strategy that will preserve the Articles of the United States Constitution.

Failure to do so will clearly guarantee the collapse of the institutions of government that have been the foundation of the United States of America.

And, Americans need to admit our concern regarding the strengths and the institutions, which have served and protected the United States of America since 1777 (notwithstanding slavery, Jim Crow, treatment of American Indians, and ongoing civil rights battles).

In the meantime, we await Mueller’s word. With Cummings and the Democrats in charge, the fear that Mueller’s report will be suppressed and lead to a constitutional crisis that would make Watergate pale in comparison is greatly reduced.

Stay tuned.

Ron Edwards is an author and hosts radio and TV shows.

This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

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