‘In his heart of hearts, he doesn’t want [to get impeached], but the specter of it creates that production value that’s so important to him…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) If congressional Democrats continue to push for impeachment, President Donald Trump will use it against them as 2020 approaches.
Trump and his team are already framing the narrative: Anything House Democrats try to do will fall short of the constitutional threshold for impeachment and will immediately be killed in the Senate.
And while some left-wingers are arguing that any smear on the president will help them, conventional wisdom still holds that the party involved in a partisan impeachment effort could face voter backlash as Republicans did in the 1998 aftermath Bill Clinton‘s sexual misconduct scandals.
“Nobody wants to be impeached, but if they do it will benefit the president,” Trump legal adviser Joseph diGenova told Politico. “They’ll be looked at as maniacs.”
Trump has the support of a solid Republican coalition, and he’s using his voter base to retaliate against Democrats.
He’s brought up impeachment—which he called a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word”—to create a “diametric choice between us and them,” according to a former senior Trump White House official.
“It plays into his rhetoric, but I don’t think they want to go through impeachment hell,” said the former official.
“In his heart of hearts, he doesn’t want [to get impeached], but the specter of it creates that production value that’s so important to him. It goes back to the campaign. That’s why he does those rallies. It is what motivates his base, it’s what motivates him.”
Trump’s 2020 campaign team has already begun spreading the message that Democrats who call for the president’s impeachment are calling for a constitutional crisis that would severely hurt the country.
“We’ll provide message support for the president and criticize the Democrats for engaging in all-out war at the cost of the country and good policy,” one senior campaign adviser told Politico.
Democrats’ fixation on impeachment has deterred the House from focusing on legislative solutions to serious problems, like the immigration crisis.
This has allowed Republicans to focus on building a solid platform as they move into 2020, which basically includes anything the Democrats have tried to block.
Trump has continued to dismiss the Democrats’ attempts as baseless since there was no evidence of an underlying crime.
As a result, despite the Mueller Report‘s insinuations of misconduct, it would be difficult to establish that obstruction of justice occurred or that Trump intended to engage in a cover-up.
“We have no collusion, no obstruction, no anything,” Trump said during an event honoring this year’s Indianapolis 500 champion, Simon Pagenaud, and Team Penske, according to Politico.
“When you look at past impeachments, whether it was President Clinton or—I guess President Nixon never got there. He left. I don’t leave. A big difference. I don’t leave.”