They Have Momentum, But Democrats Would Be Wise to Put on Another Blockbuster Witness or Two

They Have Momentum, But Democrats Would Be Wise to Put on Another Blockbuster Witness or Two

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Janet Ybarra
Democrat
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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A week of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump has concluded, and there can be no doubt that House Democrats have a strong case on which to move forward with impeachment.

On balance, they seem to have the American people on their side.

And yet.

Congressional Republicans seem unmoved. This includes House Republicans who would have an opportunity to vote to impeach Trump, and Senate Republicans who would serve as jurors and potentially decide whether to vote Trump out of office.


Now, let’s be clear: the despite what they may say in public, Republicans recalcitrance is not based on an actual belief in Trump not being guilty of his crimes. Throughout the hearings, not one Republican offered any fact-based exculpatory evidence on Trump’s behalf.

No, it was a lot of political grandstanding and “whataboutism” finger-pointing over to the Bidens and Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company despite not a single allegation of wrongdoing on their part.

I put Donald Trump’s Republican defenders into two camps:

  • One understands that Trump’s transgressions are serious enough to merit impeachment and removal from office, but these Republicans are too politically cowardly to get in Trump’s crosshairs, risk being the target of Trump’s Twitter ire and potentially pull a Trump-supported opponent in the primary.
  • The other understands that Trump’s transgressions are serious enough to merit impeachment and removal from office, but these Republicans are too tribalistic and they will flush their oaths of office down the drain in order to put party ahead of country because they are convinced that Democrats are not only political opponents, but actual enemies.

Both camps lack honor and essentially lead to the same result because they fail to live up to the courage of their convictions.

Be that as it may, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been right all along that an impeachment should not be a partisan exercise.

Look, the Republicans may never be movable. That’s understood. However, I think that now that the impeachment train has left the station, I believe that Pelosi and her team owe it to the nation to follow through.


That means that if they can hold up, and find even a few more compelling witnesses to put in front of the American people to move public opinion further in their direction (and therefore pressure Republicans to move off their absolutist, “defend-Trump-at-all-costs” position and consider joining the rational process), the better off we all could be.

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