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Impeachment: Pelosi Has Put Swing State GOP Senators In A No Win Position

The latest talking point from the GOP and the pundit class is that somehow McConnell is the “big winner” since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate this week. (The pundits in the so-called “liberal media” have long interpreted most events as somehow favoring the Republicans.) The reality is that McConnell’s so-called “win” is a Pyrrhic victory. Recent, reliable polling indicates that exposing lawbreaking and corruption is more popular than covering it up.

While Pelosi has been holding the impeachment articles, more evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing has been uncovered. Within the last few weeks it has been reported that it was Trump himself who ordered the hold on aide to Ukraine over the objections of Mike Pompeo, Mark Esper and John Bolton. Moreover, officials at the Pentagon and OMB were concerned that withholding aide violated the Nixon era anti-impoundment act. (The Congress made withholding appropriated funds illegal in response to Nixon’s abuses of power.) It was also revealed that the Administration is illegally hiding 20 emails that discussed the aide holdup.

The most explosive development of all is that former National Security Adviser John Bolton has said he is willing to testify. Bolton opposed Trump’s illegal scheme to withhold military aide from Ukraine and described it as a “drug deal” that Mick Mulvaney and Gordon Sondland were “cooking up.” Trump is so alarmed at the prospect of Bolton’s testimony that he has said he will invoke executive privilege to block his testimony.

These revelations and Trump’s ongoing cover up have caused support for impeachment and a legitimate trial with witnesses to increase. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates that 56% of registered voters say the Senate should either remove Trump from office or formally censure him. Only 34% say the charges against Trump should be dismissed. In other words, only Trump’s die hard supporters believe the charges should be dismissed.

Similarly, the overwhelming majority of registered voters want a legitimate trial with witnesses. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 71% of voters want senior Trump Administration officials to testify.

Support for a genuine trial is strong in the swing states that will decide control of the Senate in 2020. The Hart Research Group recently finished a poll in Arizona, Maine, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire. By a 67% to 29% margin , registered voters in these six crucial states want the Senate to conduct a full trial and consider the evidence on both sides.

This same poll asked voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina how they would react if GOP incumbents Martha McSally, Cory Gardner, Susan Collins and Thom Tillis supported Trump and McConnell’s cover up by voting against calling any witnesses or subpoenaing any documents. 63% were unfavorable, while only 26% would support a sham trial. Once again, only Trump’s die hard backers support an illegitimate trial.

What this means is that Pelosi has played her hand very skillfully by holding back the articles of impeachment. The wily House Speaker has exposed Trump and McConnell’s plan for an unprecedented cover up to constitute an impeachment trial. Witnesses were called in connection with the impeachment of both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

The Speaker of the House has put the likes of McSally, Gardner, Collins, Tillis and Ernst in a no win situation. Trump’s approval rating in these states are in the low 40s. If these GOP Senators side with Trump and McConnell, they will anger a majority of voters in their states. On the other hand, if they vote for a genuine trial with evidence, those senators will anger the hard core Trump base. They have no door number three.

The stakes in the Senate elections couldn’t be higher. We are in the current mess because millions of Democrats stayed home in 2014 and 2016. This apathy allowed the GOP to regain control of the Senate in 2014 and maintain its majority in 2016. McConnell has used that majority to pack the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts with right wing extremists selected by the Federalist Society.

If the Democrats win the presidency and the House in 2020 but fall short in the Senate, the results could be catastrophic. The economy will most likely go into a recession in 2020 or 2021. If that were to occur with a GOP majority in the Senate, McConnell wouldn’t allow one nickel of stimulus money to pass. The new Democratic president would be unfairly blamed for the recession and the GOP would make a big comeback in 2022.

I don’t have to tell you that the 2020 election is perhaps the most important election in our lifetimes. If Trump is re-elected, the judiciary will be dominated for decades by right wing radicals who will do the bidding of big business and the top 1%. In addition, we will fall further behind in the race to deal with the threat of global warming. Finally, the START treaty with Russia will expire in 2021. Trump will most likely repudiate that vital treaty and start another nuclear arms race.

Now let’s go out there and take our country back from the malefactors of great wealth. We can do this! Let’s get it done in 2020!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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