Writing in the Washington Post, conservative commentator Jennifer Rubin made the case that proceeding with impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will hurt Republicans more than Democrats — which would be to their advantage before the 2020 elections.
Rubin, who has had a falling out with the Republican Party since the election of Trump, confronted the conventional wisdom that impeachment of the president would blow up in Democrat’s faces by pointing out Republicans coming to Trump’s defense would be saddled with all of his baggage once the election comes around.
“Much has been written about the Democrats’ dilemma once the report’s contents are known. Will their base demand impeachment hearings? What’s the point of impeaching if the Senate won’t act?” Rubin wrote. “Do the Republicans plan on running in 2020 under the banner: Leave the Russian patsy in power — or What’s a little obstruction between friends?”
According to the conservative columnist, “they will have to defend not simply Trump’s criminal innocence but also his fitness to serve after committing all of the above. They’ll have to explain why none of that rises to the level of ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ and why the country should allow him to continue as the chief executive charged with enforcement of the nation’s laws and the Constitution.”
Rubin points out that the proceedings could also take place during a period of time when the Southern District of New York potentially hits Trump and his family with criminal charges — putting Republicans defenders in an even worse position.
“Maybe before the 2020 election we’ll learn the results of the Southern District of New York investigation(s) on allegations of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws, defraud banks and cheat on taxes, and other possible crimes,” Rubin wrote. “Are Republicans going to back a president who’s found responsible for any or all or those, or, if the investigation is not complete, back a president who, in his second term, could be found to have committed multiple financial crimes? What’s the defense? Hey, everyone pays off mistresses and files false campaign finance statements!”
Rubin then pronounced her own sentence on Trump.
“He’s a menace to the presidency and to the rule of law and patently unfit to hold presidential powers,” she wrote, adding, “The Fox News hosts and their zombie audience will deny this, but what about ‘respectable” Republicans who like the tax cuts and judges but find most everything else objectionable? I suppose they could descend further into intellectual hackery and support reelection, but you’d think they’d at least consider looking for a nominee without an ocean liner full of baggage.”
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