The Democrats are pursuing two charges in their impeachment of Donald Trump: First, that the president tried to enlist Ukraine’s help for his own political gain. And second, that he’s continued to obstruct Congress in its investigation into this abuse of power.
Trump’s transformation of the Oval Office into both a branch of his business empire and the dirty tricks division of his re-election campaign is certainly disturbing. But the narrowness of these charges should not obscure the broader pattern of Trump’s crimes. From the point of view of basic morality and international law, Trump has committed far more consequential crimes and misdemeanors.
In his construction of an alternate foreign policy that makes an end-run around the State Department’s seasoned diplomats, Trump’s attack dog, Rudy Giuliani, has thrown the president together with corrupt Ukrainian officials and oligarchs. But behind the scenes in the Trump administration, an even more sinister shadow foreign policy informs the administration’s approach to immigration and security issues.