The Speaker of the House of Representatives last week initiated impeachment hearings after President Trump admitted to asking a foreign leader to investigate Joe Biden, right after talking about how much money the US was giving to that country.
Needless to say, the impeachment inquiry became the top news topic. And the person who doing the most to encourage Republicans to support impeachment investigations is…President Donald Trump.
The basis of the inquiry is a conversation that President Trump had with the leader of Ukraine where he reminded the Ukrainian President that no one gives more money to his country than the United States, and that Europe doesn’t do nearly as much as the United States. Then, in the next topic of discussion President Trump asks him to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in investigating his likely opponent in the next election, Joe Biden. Obviously, that is a problem. If someone doesn’t see how we need to find it if that is really what happened, then they are blind and, more, deliberately so.
But here is where Trump is pushing Republicans away from him.
As members of Congress started to call for an investigation, President Trump was defiant (as he normally is) but this time he went too far, even for him. Way too far. And there are rumblings that he is making it very hard for Republicans to defend a Republican President.
Trump called for criminal charges against the Chairman of one of the committees in the House of Representatives, who he accused of ‘treason’ because that member of Congress dared to question whether that conversation 1) happened the way the transcripts appear to show it happened and 2) the implications of a President talking to a foreign leader about giving them money and then asking for help investigating a political opponent in the same conversation. If you lean Republican, imagine if a President Obama had called for criminal charges against a Republican member of Congress for investigating Benghazi, for example.
But, apparently trying to outdo himself, President Trump said there would be a ‘civil war’ like split in the country if he were impeached and removed from office. Think about that for a minute….a President of the United States issuing a veiled threat of civil war if he loses power. Really think about that. Again, if you are a Republican, think about the reaction if those words had come from a President Obama. A US President, suggesting war if he loses power! Isn’t that the kind of thing that comes out of petty banana republics? If that doesn’t bother you, you have lost all ability of independent thought.
The reactions have been quick and growing.
Republican Congressman Alan Kinzinger from Illinois, an Air Force veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, called Trump’s tweet ‘beyond repugnant’.
Four term Republican Congressman Mark Amodei of Nevada came out in support of the impeachment inquiry after Trump’s comments on social media.
Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came out and said that if the House of Representatives referred the matter to the Senate that they Senate would certainly hold an impeachment trial.
Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) yesterday wrote an opinion piece published in the Washington Post where he argued that whether or not you supported impeachment of the President, you should not support re-election. Speaking to Republicans who may fear a political backlash in their own party for opposing the President in the next election, he said “Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”
A former member of the Trump Administration being interviewed on one of the news networks said that if they were asked privately, that a large number of Republicans in the Senate would now support impeachment and recent events make one wonder if that may really be the case.
All of this, from members of the President’s own party, in the last four or five days.
President Trump has called for criminal charges against his opponents in Congress—because opposing him is ‘treason’, he argues. And he has tacitly endorsed violence and taking up arms if he is removed from office.
Even Republican members of Congress are growing scared of such a mentality.