Brendan Buck, a former aide to two past Republican House Speakers, told CNN's Kate Bolduan on Tuesday that it's highly unlikely that President Donald Trump will skate through the impeachment process without serious political damage like former President Bill Clinton did.
During a panel discussion on the politics of impeachment, Buck explained that Clinton allies in the late '90s succeeded in making the case to the public that the president was wrong to lie under oath about having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but that those lies were not grounds for removal from office.
If Trump allies tried to pull the same maneuver with the current president, Buck said, he would most likely rage at them and undercut their attempts at defending him.
"We have a president that I don't think would tolerate that from Republicans in Congress," said Buck, who previously worked for Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Paul Ryan (R-WI). "If Republicans went out and said, 'I don't think this is impeachable, but what the president did was clearly wrong, he should not have done that,' he wouldn't understand... instead he would probably lash out."
Buck went on to explain that this has left Republicans in a position of arguing that it's perfectly fine for the president to ask a foreign government dependent on American aid to launch investigations into his political rivals -- a stance that he said was "straining" their credibility.
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