GOP Congressman Justin Amash just did House Democrats a huge favor when it comes to Trump’s impeachment
Once you get past the pundits who are falsely framing impeachment as a magic wand, so they can score cheap points with a frustrated populace by disingenuously attacking Democratic House leaders for not waving that wand, the reality is that impeachment is a complex equation. If the Democrats want a positive result from it, they have to do it in a very specific and calculated way. To that end, a House Republican just did them a big favor.
The impeachment equation doesn’t merely come down to whether it’ll result in Donald Trump’s removal. The point of impeachment is to use it to so thoroughly expose Trump’s crimes, most Americans decide he must go. That would leave Senate Republicans with the no-win choice of removing Trump to save their own individual prospects of reelection, or not removing him and losing their own seats for it. That way, no matter what the GOP Senate ultimately decides, the Democrats – and America – win.
For the above strategy to work, most Americans (the ones in the middle, not the ones on either side) have to conclude that House Democrats only decided to impeach because Trump left them no choice. They can’t be seen as doing it in partisan or opportunistic fashion. That means the Democrats need the majority of Americans to want impeachment before it starts. The polls make clear that the Democrats’ strategy is working: the William Barr hearings drove the pro-impeachment poll numbers from the 37-40% range, to the 45-49% range – and this was as a result of the testimony of a guy who was trying to help Trump.
The likes of Robert Mueller and Don McGahn will publicly testify soon, no matter how much histrionic nonsense certain pundits might yell about how they’re somehow magically never going to show up to testify – even though Trump has no avenue to even try to stop them from showing up. But as that process is being all worked out and scheduled, we’re now seeing something else play out: certain Republicans getting out ahead of the Democrats.
Last night former FBI Director James Comey used Twitter to all but call for William Barr to be impeached, which helps the House Democrats’ cause, because Comey is widely known to be a lifelong (recently renounced) Republican. But today we saw something far more important happen. Republican Congressman Justin Amash all but called for Donald Trump to be impeached.
Justin Amash is from a moderate district that has no love for Donald Trump. He regularly criticizes Trump and votes against him, so his tweets today are nothing new. But it’s a big deal that, as part of a lengthy thread, Amash tweeted today that “Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report” and more importantly that “President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.” He’s not exactly committing himself to voting for Trump’s impeachment, but he is committing himself to being in favor of the impeachment process when it starts.
Amash is just one vote, and House Democrats already have enough votes to impeach Donald Trump without any GOP help. But that’s not the point. We now have a House Republican getting out slightly ahead of the Democratic House leaders on impeachment. That gives them significant cover when it comes time for them to make the argument to the public – after Mueller and McGahn testify – that they’re left with no choice but to impeach Trump. Talking heads aside, this is how the process works when it comes to taking Trump down – and it’s falling into place.
_________________________ Trump asked if he could pardon himself!