Think about it: the President of the United States is threatening to blackmail the former chief of the nation’s top domestic law enforcement agency in an attempt to shut him up.

Maybe Trump is bluffing, which would be outrageous enough. But what if he’s telling the truth? We have no way of knowing. Now, every single man or woman who goes into the White House to converse with him now has to worry that the president is secretly recording their conversation, and has no scruples against using what is said to blackmail them. What say you, Sen. Mitch McConnell? What say you, CIA director Mike Pompeo?

This is banana republic stuff. This man is out of control. How can we have a functioning government if the President feels entitled to threaten blackmail, and every single official who meets with him in the White House has to worry that they’re being bugged, and that words they say in confidence could be used against them?

Note well that Trump manufactured this crisis out of his own ineptitude and corruption.

Congress is going to have to impeach him to protect the integrity of our Constitutional order. The House impeached Clinton for lying under oath (though the Senate did not convict). Now we have a sitting president threatening blackmail against the FBI director he fired. This, only four months into the president’s administration. Mind-boggling. But here we are. If this is not a bright red line, what is?