by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
… [T]he special counsel’s report contains some embarrassing moments for the president. But it also proves that Trump was telling the truth when it came to the central question of the investigation: He did not conspire with Russia.
If Democrats want to purse impeachment nonetheless, then to quote Ronald Reagan quoting Clint Eastwood: “Go ahead, make my day.” Impeachment over anything other than a conspiracy with Russia will backfire with the American people and help ensure Trump’s reelection.
First, it will fail, because two-thirds of the Senate will not vote to convict the president. Second, Trump’s supporters will see an impeachment effort as an attempted coup d’état, energizing his base ahead of the 2020 election. And third, it will be seen as partisan and unfair by persuadable voters, who will not appreciate politicians second-guessing the conclusions of an impartial investigation. Want to push Trump’s approval above 50 percent? Try to impeach him.
While Democrats debate pursuing impeachment, they are also abusing their powers to get Trump’s tax returns in the hope they will provide what the Mueller investigation did not: evidence of something incriminating. Does anyone really believe that the House Ways and Means Committee wants Trump’s returns to assess how “the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a president”? Please. There is no legitimate legislative purpose for this request.