While President Donald Trump is openly daring Democrats to begin impeachment hearings against him -- hoping to use the move to rally his base before the 2020 election -- some Republicans are afraid the president is making a big mistake.
In a Politico piece on Trump's plan to "weaponize" impeachment talk by turning it back on Democrats, some GOP lawmakers expressed the desire that both sides drop it because of the damage and chaos it could create.
Noting that Trump and his re-election campaign aides plan "to bend the chatter around the [impeachment] issue to their advantage, knowing the topic will dominate the national conversation as the 2020 election ramps up," one adviser said it's not optimum, but it could be helpful.
“Nobody wants to be impeached, but if they do it will benefit the president,” explained Trump legal adviser Joseph diGenova. “They’ll be looked at as maniacs.”
According to a former senior Trump White House official, impeachment talk helps to create the drama the president craves.
“It plays into his rhetoric, but I don’t think they want to go through impeachment hell,” explained the official who asked to remain anonymous. “In his heart of hearts, he doesn’t want [to get impeached], but the specter of it creates that production value that’s so important to him.”
“It goes back to the campaign,” the insider added. “That’s why he does those rallies. It is what motivates his base, it’s what motivates him.”
Some Republicans aren't so sure it's a great plan and for good reason.
According to Politico, "Trump’s 'bring it on' mantra isn’t embraced everywhere. Some Republicans in the president’s orbit see impeachment as a recipe for more drip-drip coverage reminding voters of the Mueller probe, not to mention the prospect of unrelated surprise revelations. Already, Mueller’s probe uncovered details about hush-money payments Trump made during the campaign to women to cover up claims of extramarital affairs."
“The problem with the impeachment proceeding is that once it opens, you don’t know what you’re going to find or what’s going to come up,” worried a Republican close to the White House, referring to the more than a dozen investigations of Trump that are still ongoing."
According to Michael Feldman, a longtime Democratic strategist, Trump's braggadocio about impeachment talk is a cover for actually wanting it to all go away.
"They don’t welcome a detailed conversation about what’s in it, nor do they welcome any new lines of inquiry or investigation,” Feldman explained. “He realizes when it stays in the bounds of a 400-page [Mueller] document, it’s less dangerous than when people are exposed to what’s in it."
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