‘My fear is people out there know that, even if this is not an impeachable offense, that the president did something wrong …’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said on Monday that Senate Republicans will be on trial alongside President Donald Trump during the Senate’s impeachment proceedings, adding that they will likely fail because “they want to keep their jobs.”
When asked why it’s “so difficult” for Republicans to “speak up against” Trump, Flake told CBS News that Trump’s popularity among the GOP makes disagreement impossible.
“Because they want to keep their jobs, and the president is extremely popular among Republican primary voters,” Flake said. “That is a subset of a subset of a subset. But they are those who decide who represents the party and the general election.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 20, 2020.
But Trump “won’t be there forever,” Flake said. “He’ll either be gone this time next year or four years from now. Then what happens to the Republican Party?”
Flake then claimed that public opinion tends to support the Democrats’ case against the president.
“My fear is people out there know that, even if this is not an impeachable offense, that the president did something wrong and for Republicans to maintain that he didn’t is just wrong,” he continued.
Flake cautioned that GOP senators could be cast on the same level as House Democrats if they fail to rise above petty partisanship.
“And this has long-term ramifications for the party if we act as if we are just devoted to the president no matter what out of this cult of personality that we’ve seen,” he said. “We certainly saw it in the House.”
Flake then defended his past criticism of the president: “You always look back and say I could have done this differently or that,” he said. “But I did speak up, and I decided that I would have to condone behavior I couldn’t condone or accept positions I couldn’t accept if I wanted to win reelection. That’s why I didn’t.”