US President Donald Trump appears to be in big trouble. A memo by former FBI director James Comey exposed by The New York Times shows Trump had asked Comey to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn in a meeting on February 14. US mainstream media and the Democratic Party accused Trump of obstruction of justice.
Earlier, US media had reported that Trump leaked highly classified intelligence on the Islamic State to visiting Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, yet Washington failed to share the same information with its allies to protect the source.
As the attacks on Trump ramp up, many are now calling for him to be impeached. According to one poll, 48 percent supported impeachment, while 41 percent opposed. The numbers don't bode well for Trump.
The American elite still refuse to accept Trump after his 100 days in the Oval Office. He is at odds with the mainstream media; insiders have constantly leaked information to the media. Now some commentators have compared the exposure of the Comey memo to the Watergate scandal. As Congress is under Republican control, few believe there will be a move to impeach the president, but these latest revelations will certainly further erode Trump's presidential authority.
At the beginning of the corruption scandal, few believed that South Korean president Park Geun-hye would be impeached either. Could this be a reference for Trump's case? But evidence of Park's illegal activities was solid, while it will be more complicated to make determinations over whether Trump obstructed justice and leaked classified intelligence.
To impeach Trump will need more evidence from further investigation. To completely discredit Trump among voters, the present scandal is not enough as it does not add to the negative image of Trump. Many just think Trump often speaks off the cuff, which ends up in silly blunders.
If there is a major substantive scandal over and above him speaking out of turn then that will be another thing. But this is not the case at the moment.
Every country has its own troubles. The US model represents Western democracy, but it is crumbling, and the resulting social division has become more and more serious. The US Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigation into link between Russia and the 2016 US presidential election and related matters on Wednesday. More juicy details will continue to appear and the rifts may become wider. Trump will become one of the most frequently accused Americans.
The US won't be engulfed by chaos if its president is caught in a lawsuit. Someone has pointed out that no matter how chaotic the White House and Capitol Hill are, the overall operation of the US will not be a major problem as long as the enterprises and social organizations in the country are stable. This is seen as an advantage of the American system.
Although American society is relatively stable, the political tumult can't be taken as an advantage of the US system. The fact is that US politics is in trouble, and the benefits brought by its system are being squandered.