Impeachment, While Ominous, Could Benefit the GOP
Just recently, two close associates of President Trump were found guilty. Paul Manafort, former chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign, was convicted of five counts of false tax returns, two counts of bank fraud, and a single count of failing to report bank and financial accounts. USA Today reported that the judge declared ten other counts as mistrials. Michael Cohen, the President’s personal lawyer, was charged with eight counts as well, implicating that the payments he had arranged were for the purpose of influencing the election. While the judiciary decisions made in the past week may seem alarming to the Trump Administration, the path in which Robert Mueller’s investigation is going could be very favorable if history chooses to repeat itself.
As of now, the storyline of Donald Trump’s possible impeachment is beginning to align very closely with the Clinton scandals of 1998. Both investigations started as very specific investigations, with Mueller looking for possible links of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, while Ken Starr was investigating the Clinton family “Whitewater” scandal. However, especially after last week’s events, both investigations seemed to have went in an opposite direction.
Starr eventually uncovered Clinton’s affair with a White House intern, and Mueller seems to have a found a possible connection between campaign finances and Trump’s hush money. During the investigation, the Clinton administration hired a series of speakers to denounce Starr as a hardcore partisan conservative dedicated to finding whatever evidence possible to bring down Bill Clinton. An anonymous Clinton official even confessed to The Hill that the goal of the administration during the probe was to pummel Starr with as much criticism and doubt as humanly possible. If you are beginning to see any parallels, it would not be very surprising. Although President Trump has Twitter as an extra weapon, the Trump administration has gone to extensive lengths to show that Mueller is a puppet controlled by leading Democrats looking to unseat the President.
At the end of the day, to look at how impeachment could play out, a reflection on history is necessary. Bill Clinton’s presidency was put to an abrupt halt when the impeachment process was initiated, as House Republicans marched into Congress with an onslaught of hearings, trials, conferences, and inquiries that engulfed Capitol Hill. They went after every single Clinton official, many of which had to testify. During the impeachment phase, Congress did very little because of how much the investigation consumed politics. Ultimately, the distraction caused by the Lewinsky scandal and its effectiveness in seeking justice played a huge role into the landscape of the next few years. Democrat supporters were already siding with Clinton, and moderates gained his support due to the fact that the Republicans of 1999 shut down Washington and the process of legislation, a right of the people, solely to scrutinize a man that had an affair and lied about it under oath. CNN put out a collection of data in 1999 reporting multiple surveys conducted by third party sources regarding the Clinton presidency. Following the investigation, Clinton’s approval rating went up 10 points to 73 percent and the GOP’s approval ratings went all the way down to 31 percent.
As of now, Donald Trump’s situation in the public eye doesn’t look all that great. He has a low approval rating of 46 percent, and is receiving criticism from all angles, including the likes of Fox anchors and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And while Vegas recently released Donald Trump as the favorite for the 2020 election, a surprise candidate that is well liked, perhaps Nikki Haley, could put his reelection chances in jeopardy. In all honesty, it is very possible that impeachment would win Donald Trump the White House, or at least secure the House and Senate for the GOP.
Unless a serious development occurred in between now and November’s midterm elections, the GOP should play the lose-to-win strategy in the event that midterms go poorly. It is worth noting that the Democrats do not take back the House and Senate, this entire situation is irrelevant, as it would be ill-advised for the Democrats to begin impeachment if the Republicans control anything. But if a contingency is needed for a Democrat-controlled Congress, impeachment is a quality last resort. Although Rep. Jim Jordan has said in a press conference that impeachment is a strenuous process that could very easily take the life out of the GOP, he stated a Clinton-like result will expose the extremes that the Democrats are going to to remove Trump from office.
Similarly to the Clinton impeachment, many liberal political experts fear that the Democrats focusing on the President’s removal could create negative feelings amongst the public, as many believe it would distract the country from creating policies intended to help the American people.
Noah Giglietti is a Lead Contributor at theDailyLead