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House GOP launched impeachment because Trump demanded it as revenge for being impeached—and he demanded it in writing!
This will help Dems win in 2024 like it did in 1998!
The impeachment inquiry announced on Tuesday by GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into President Biden is unique for one dangerous reason: It’s solely about Donald Trump wanting to exact revenge for being impeached and indicted. Never has our nation seen an impeachment based on personal revenge by a disgraced former President—that is, until now thanks to today’s GOP.
Supporters of a President will often call efforts to impeach that leader nothing more than a politically motivated “witch hunt.” And I don’t mean just Trump supporters given that some Democrats defending President Clinton during his impeachment used the same term.
But in those instances, we did not see the leader of either political party at the time demand—in writing no less--that the President be impeached as a way to exact personal revenge. Yet that is exactly what we have with Trump and today’s House GOP.
In fact, Trump is not hiding that is why he pressured the House GOP to begin an impeachment inquiry. Just two weeks ago on August 27, 2023, Trump took to social media where he demanded in writing the House impeach Biden because of what he perceived the Democrats did that to him. In that post, Trump, as usual, first makes it all about himself writing: “These lowlifes Impeached me TWICE (I WON!), and Indicted me FOUR TIMES - For NOTHING!” He continued, “Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION.” Trump then made it clear why Biden must be impeached: “THEY DID IT TO US!”
Of course, the “They” is really “Trump” as in Democrats impeached Trump and now Trump wants payback.
Trump also threatened at his recent rally that if any House Republican refuses to support his revenge scheme of impeachment, he will primary them. In late July, at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump told his rabid fans why they need to impeach Biden, screaming out: “They impeach me, they indict me,” and then whining, “And the Republicans just don’t fight the way…they’re supposed to fight.”
Trump then made it clear that if any Republican refused to join his personal revenge scheme he would crush them: “Any Republican that doesn’t act on Democratic fraud should be immediately primaried and get out!” And to ensure there was no doubt what the stakes were, Trump added, “We got a lot of good, tough Republicans around. People are going to run against them and people are going to win.”
The below USA Today headline from August 1 perfectly sums up the political pressure Trump was putting on House Republicans who refused to go along with his personally motivated campaign of retribution:
Add to that on Wednesday, the NY Times reported that Trump had been personally pressuring House GOP members behind the scenes to go forward with impeachment despite a lack of evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing. As the Times laid out, “Trump has talked regularly by phone with members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and other congressional Republicans” who became the leaders of the impeachment effort.
We don’t even need to address any alleged evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing because so many House Republicans have already told us none exists. Just days ago, House GOP Rep. Ken Buck stated on MSNBC: “The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden, if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor, that doesn’t exist right now.”
GOP House Rep David Joyce--chair of the Republican Governance Group—explained in an interview published days ago that he is “not seeing facts or evidence at this point” that would lead to an impeachment inquiry, and he says those calls are “premature.” Numerous other House GOP members have repeated that exact sentiment.
That is why Kevin McCarthy did not call a full House vote to commence this impeachment inquiry despite his numerous pledges earlier this year that a “full vote of the House” was required. Indeed, this has long been McCarthy’s position as we saw in 2019 when House Democrats began talking about impeaching Trump. The then GOP House leader at the time on social media: “Speaker Pelosi can't decide on impeachment unilaterally. It requires a full vote of the House of Representatives.”
In fact, just two weeks ago McCarthy reaffirmed this saying to the press, “If we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”
Well flash-forward just two weeks and McCarthy has flip-flopped on the need for a full House vote. Why? As CNN reported Tuesday, McCarthy is well short of the votes in the House GOP caucus to secure a majority of the chamber to authorize such an inquiry. And today, McCarthy lashed out at CNN’s congressional correspondent when he called out this flip-flop.
Without a full House vote the alleged impeachment inquiry is not valid. Don’t take my word for that, Trump’s own DOJ under Attorney General Bill Barr wrote that when faced with the prospect of Trump’s first impeachment in a legal memo. At that time the DOJ wrote point blank about the need for a full House vote to trigger a formal impeachment inquiry: “No committee may undertake the momentous move from legislative oversight to impeachment without a delegation by the full House of such authority.” The DOJ legal memo continued, “We are not the first to reach this conclusion. This was the position of the House in the impeachments of Presidents Nixon and Clinton.”
How will this play out politically? While we’ve never seen a former disgraced President demand the current President be impeached as an act of revenge, we do have a modern-day example of a nakedly partisan GOP impeachment. In 1998, then House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the impeachment of President Bill Clinton over his conduct in connection with his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Gingrich and the GOP saw this impeachment as a way to help their party in the 1998 midterms. In reality, the American people saw this as nothing more than the partisan exercise it was. As a result, instead of gaining seats as the party not controlling the White House traditionally does in a midterm, the House GOP actually lost five seats and gained zero Senate seats in the 1998 midterm.
If we saw similar results in 2024, Democrats would regain control of the House and hold the Senate.
Our nation has been through a lot of dangerous firsts courtesy of Trump, from his attempted coup to the Jan 6 terrorist attack. Now we are seeing another first: an impeachment of a President in revenge for Trump being impeached. There is no bottom to Trump nor today’s GOP. The only answer is to defeat them soundly come 2024.
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