‘If they start an impeachment, the American people will quickly see it’s a political witch hunt…’
(Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News) Bring it on, Democrats.
After emerging unscathed from the nearly two-years-long Mueller investigation into phony allegations of collusion and obstruction of justice, President Donald Trump and his legal team see a window of opportunity in the specious impeachment threats that House Democrats continue to make.
Impeachment proceedings in the House would give Trump a political boost ahead of the 2020 election and paint him as a “victim” of Democratic overreach, his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday.
In a phone interview with the New York Daily News, the former New York mayor said he hopes Congress doesn’t launch impeachment hearings in response to Robert Mueller‘s report finally becoming public, but contended the president would ultimately benefit if it happens.
“They can do it if they want to,” Giuliani said of Democrats. “Would it politically be the best thing that could happen to the president? Absolutely.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has herself expressed worries in the past over the risks of impeaching the president without bipartisan support.
The move would be certain to fail in the Senate, which would make the ultimate determination on removal.
Moreover, any sort of partisan Congressional investigation following Mueller’s independent one could easily backlash in the election year as the slow drip of now-discredited leaks has created to a growing sense of public disaffection and scandal fatigue among all but the most fervent left-wingers.
“She’s worried about it because it’s going to make the president look like a victim,” Giuliani said. “If they start an impeachment, the American people will quickly see it’s a political witch hunt and it would make the president a victim.”
In a polarized political culture where such calls now seem to plague every Oval Office-holder—and even to be trickling into other areas, like Supreme Count appointments—such a move without the basis of solid incriminating evidence also could diminish the weight of impeachment articles and reduce the House’s influence in the long run.
Giuliani’s remarks came hours before Pelosi, D-Calif., was expected to hold a conference call with House Democrats on Mueller’s report and the possibility of impeachment.
Democrats—many of whom declared before the report had concluded that they would continue to investigate, regardless of the outcome— have continued to entertain impeachment as a serious option.
While some have pointed to Mueller’s refusal to clear Trump of obstructing the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia, the decision by Attorney General William Barr not to pursue it for prosecution was based largely on the fact that there was no underlying crime—and therefore no intent to obstruct.
Democrats maintain that in his report released Thursday, Mueller left the door open for Congress to consider taking action against the president.
But others question whether a second investigation led by Congress would fit into the scope of the body’s legislative functions, as outlined by the Constitution, even under different circumstances where it were not such a blatant political ploy.
In the lead-up to Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, voters who had given the GOP a red wave only four years prior pulled it back during that November’s midterm elections, punishing the Republican Congress for its role in the sexual harassment investigation led by special prosecutor Ken Starr.
Democratic leadership, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., have likewise cautioned against trying to remove Trump from office.
Giuliani said Hoyer is right and contended a Trump impeachment would hurt congressional Democrats as well as whoever ends up challenging Trump in 2020.
Referencing a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that was attended by a Kremlin-connected lawyer working for left-wing opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who claimed to have political dirt on Hillary Clinton, Giuliani said it wasn’t a crime for the Trump campaign to accept the meeting.
“Would I have counseled as a lawyer, ‘don’t do it,’ because someone can make it look bad—yes, absolutely,” Giuliani said,
“But is it illegal? No,” Giuliani continued. “Is it wrong? I don’t know, let someone else figure that out. You don’t impeach someone for doing something wrong. … Every president has done something wrong.”
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this article.
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