Conservative columnist Eli Lake thinks that House Republicans may have done a good job of defending President Donald Trump during Wednesday’s opening impeachment hearings — but he also thinks they undermined his chances of winning the 2020 election.
In his latest Bloomberg column, Lake argues that Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) made a smart argument in favor of not impeaching the president: Namely, that his attempt to extort Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden fell apart before it could be fully executed.
“Impeachment is a political process,” Lake writes. “And for now there are no Republicans in the House willing to impeach the president for a plan that never came to fruition.”
All the same, Lake believes that these hearings are bad for the president politically because they once again show the only thing stopping him from committing even more overtly impeachable defenses are members of his own administration and cabinet who are willing to provide a check on his abusive tendencies.
“Stefanik’s defense is an effective rebuttal in the context of impeachment,” he writes. “In the context of a re-election campaign, it’s damning. The fact that his corrupt schemes were stymied will likely save Trump from being removed from office. The fact that he had them in the first place is a good argument for voting him out.”