This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 22, 2019:
Last week’s overwhelming rejection by the House of a motion to begin impeachment hearings against the president — 332-95 — didn’t faze Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen or New York Democrat Jerry Nadler. On Friday, during an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room, Cohen unloaded his frustration over the vote: “There was just a smorgasbord of obstruction by Trump, whether asking staff to lie for him, whether asking staff to do deeds that were obstructive, and asking Mueller to resign, or asking [then-Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to unrecuse himself, dangling pardons before Manafort, dangling a pardon before Michael Cohen at one time.”
On Sunday, Nadler told Fox News Sunday that the president “violated the law six ways from Sunday,” adding “The president and the attorney general and others have spent the last few months systematically lying to the American people about what the investigation found. They’ve said it found no collusion, that it found no obstruction, that it exonerated the president. All three of those statements are absolute lies.”
They are betting all their remaining chips on Robert Mueller’s testimonies on Wednesday to give them what they want: a chance to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into bringing a motion to impeach back to the floor for another vote.
Nadler said that Mueller’s report “found a great deal of collusion, it found a great deal of obstruction of justice by the president, and it pointedly refused to exonerate the president. We think it’s very important for the American people to hear directly what the facts are because this is a president who has violated the law six ways from Sunday. If anyone else had been accused of what the report finds the president had done, they would have been indicted. It’s important that we not have a lawless administration and a lawless president.”
Except that the American people have already had a belly full of the Mueller investigation that was released last April, and have already made up their minds about impeaching the president. A CNN poll shows that 54 percent of Americans oppose impeachment.
Stephen Collinson, writing for CNN, pointed out just how risky Mueller’s testimony, such as it might be, is to the Democrats. He called his testimony the Democrats’ “make or break” moment, their “last, best hope” of proving that the president committed impeachable crimes, that they are banking on Mueller’s testimonies before two House committees on Wednesday to be a “political game changer.” Collinson said the Democrats “hope the hearings will bolster their 2020 case that he [the president] is too corrupt and unpatriotic to deserve a second term.” But, added Collinson, “There is a risk that [Mueller’s] testimony could be an anti-climax.”
Republicans on both committees — the House’s Intelligence and Judiciary Committees — are gearing up to rebuff the presumption and instead take the opportunity to quiz Mueller on his biased staff, his reliance on the discredited Steele dossier, and asking when he concluded that the president wasn’t guilty of collusion. Knowing that, they will then press Mueller to explain why he let the investigation continue for months afterwards.
In other words, the Democrats’ attempt to uncover impeachable presidential crimes — their “final” attempt, according to Collinson — could backfire in a major way. Not only do the American people not care about the “spectacle” on Wednesday, the chances for any disclosures to impact the 2020 presidential election are between slim and none.
In the worst case-scenario for Trump — Mueller reveals impeachable offenses and the House forces Pelosi to bring a vote to the floor, and the vote passes — it will go nowhere in the Senate, and the president will use it as a campaign tool, claiming harassment by the House Democrats and victory over them when their move fails in the Senate.
According to Upshot, a New York Times venture that focuses on political polling, not only is the president likely to win reelection, he could actually expand his 2016 advantage in the Electoral College. Upshot’s reporter, Nate Cohn, said that the president’s approval rating among his core constituency “has been stable even after seemingly big missteps. And if it improves by just a modest amount — not unusual for incumbents with a strong economy — he could have a distinct chance to win re-election … [and] the president’s relative advantage in the Electoral College could grow even further in a high-turnout election.”
David Bahnsen agrees with Cohn. The managing partner of a billion-dollar wealth-management firm, a trustee of the National Review Institute and a frequent visitor on Fox News, Bahnsen looked at the last 100 years of electoral history and noted, “The last 100 years of history tells us that if the stock market is strong in the third and fourth years of a president’s first term, he’s almost guaranteed to win reelection.… It has been a reliable political weather vane for the last century.”
Robert Mueller’s testimony — or lack thereof — on Wednesday may be the Democrats’ last shot at impeaching the president. It’s looking increasingly likely to be a dud. Even if it isn’t, the Democrats remain in a no-win situation, with the president likely to win reelection in any event.