What is leading to the impeachment of Donald Trump is, on the face of it, simple. Trump abused his powers as president to pressure the government of Ukraine, a supplicant when it comes to the balance of military and financial power, into assisting him with a partisan investigation of his domestic political opponents. But understanding what precipitated and followed from that incident is complex. Much of the mess we’re seeing is due to a collision of two narratives that have been dominating Washington, DC: one of a president abusing his power versus another of a president falling prey to deep-state abuses of power. (Here, I’m using the term “deep state” to mean partisan factions within law enforcement and intelligence, not something more elaborate.) Because Trump’s enemies believe the former and his supporters believe the latter, there has been a recursive quality to the resulting conflicts. Trump got investigated and then sought to investigate the investigators, who now in turn seek to investigate Trump’s efforts to investigate the investigators. The Ukraine incident must be understood partially in this context.