Countless pundits have predicted that President Donald Trump will be indicted on articles of impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives but will subsequently be acquitted by a Republican majority in a Senate trial. Journalist David M. Drucker, in an October 22 article for the Washington Examiner, doesn’t disagree with that likely scenario. But he stresses that the price Republicans might pay for that acquittal is losing their Senate majority in the 2020 election.
“Democrats are targeting President Trump,” Drucker explains. “What they may get instead is the Senate.”
Republicans presently have a three-seat majority in the Senate, which means that Democrats — in order to achieve a majority in 2020 — will need to flip four GOP-held seats while keeping all of the seats they are defending. Incumbent GOP senators who are typically described as vulnerable include Martha McSally in Arizona, Susan Collins in Maine, Cory Gardner in Colorado and Joni Ernst in Iowa. Flipping those four seats would give Democrats a Senate majority — assuming that incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones doesn’t lose in Alabama.
“In a Senate trial to adjudicate articles of impeachment approved by the House,” Drucker observes, “at least a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans risk the wrath of grassroots conservatives if they vote to convict and remove Trump from office. The same group, staring down impeachment with the 2020 primary season drawing near, could just as easily alienate general election voters with a vote to acquit the president.”
Drucker specifically mentions McSally, Gardner, Collins and Ernst in his op-ed. And he also cites Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina as an example of Republican vulnerability in 2020. A GOP strategist, interviewed on condition of anonymity, told Drucker that vulnerable GOP senators “were all going to have tough races to begin with, and Trump isn’t making it any easier on them.”
Drucker notes that while voting to acquit Trump could work against Republican senators in 2020 in “battleground states” and cause them to lose to Democrats, Jones has a different problem: he is a Democrat seeking reelection in a Republican-dominated southern state.
“Sen. Doug Jones, up for reelection in deep red Alabama, is walking the same tightrope as Republicans who are running for another term in blue and purple states,” Drucker observes.
Drucker concludes his article by emphasizing that if Democrats don’t do a good job making their case for impeachment, incumbent Democrats might pay a price politically in 2020.
“With a Senate trial likely to be triggered by a partisan vote of House Democrats,” Drucker explains, “the burden of the prosecuting the case in the Senate chamber, according to the rules, would fall on them. So, too, could the blowback if the public determines that their case is thin and unreasonable.”
Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."
"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."
Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter
Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.
But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.
"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"
"He does," Dilanian replied.
"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."
GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.
"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."
"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."