White House counsel Pat Cipollone stated Friday that the White House would not cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry and admonished the Democrats to cease and desist, in a letter to Jerrold Nadler. Cipollone called the inquiry “baseless” “a charade” and admonished Nadler “not to waste even more time with additional hearings.” In issuing the letter today, the White House is holding fast to it’s stance that impeachment is a “hoax” and it’s decision to stonewall until the matter gets to the Senate, at which point Mitch McConnell is expected to raise and lower the gavel and that will be that. Be that as it may, don’t lose sight of the good that the impeachment inquiry has done and how it does in fact constitute a galvanizing force in American politics, which will be of great importance in the upcoming election — and this despite the fact that polls are showing little to no movement of the anti-Trump needle since the hearings began. The New Yorker:
If Trump is to be defeated next year, his opponents will have to maintain that [level of] energy [from 2018] and build upon it. To do so, Ezra Levin, the co-founder and co-executive director of the Indivisible movement, which now has more than five thousand affiliated local groups, insists, it was utterly necessary for the Democrats to react to the shocking Ukraine revelations by issuing the ultimate congressional rebuke to Trump. Speaking hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House Democrats would go ahead and file articles of impeachment, Levin said, “I see only positive sides to this. I see a system that is working. For all the millions of people who got involved with politics after 2016, it shows that all the hard work they did mattered. That is going to get them involved again in 2020.”
From this perspective, the key thing isn’t whether the Senate actually removes Trump from office. Levin, who is also the co-author of a new book, “We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump,” said that he wasn’t making any predictions about the outcome. But he added, “It was vital to demonstrate that elections do have consequences and that the Democrats will use their power to stand up to Trump.” If Pelosi and her colleagues had refused to launch an impeachment process, Levin went on, “it would have been enormously demoralizing for all these people who were newly engaged after 2016.” […]
To that point, Levin noted, participating in an impeachment trial may well create problems for a number of Republicans who are up for reëlection in purple and red states where Trump’s disapproval ratings are underwater. Pointing to Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana, and North Carolina as examples, Levin said, “These are all places where you are going to have a Republican senator forced to take a hard vote. It will be very helpful to Democrats that Senator Gardner, in Colorado, or Senator Ernst, in Iowa, or Senator McSally, in Arizona, cannot just hide behind nicely written tweets. They are actually going to have to register a historic vote and stand by it.”
An old teacher of mine said, “You can never go too far wrong by doing the right thing.” In this instance of fighting back against the corruption of Donald Trump and the GOP, Democrats have done the right thing. To have not pursued impeachment would have shown us to be a spineless and characterless party, and there’s already one of them. In a best case scenario, it is conceivable that a few Republicans may vote to impeach Trump in the Senate, whether for their own political survival or a desire to be on the right side of history, who knows?
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told Morning Joe on Friday that he personally had spoken with a few Republicans who are considering taking that step. “It’s a small list, on one hand,” Murphy said, “and by the way, I don’t buy this secret ballot thing. If there was a secret ballot there would still only be a handful that would vote to impeach this guy.” Murphy said that he was only talking about a handful of people, but a handful would get the job done. But even if the Senate acquits, as expected, there may be a hell of a price to be paid for that come November. There’s only one safe bet to make at this point, the way this is shaping up: it’s not over until it’s over, and if the era of Trump has taught us one thing, it’s that anything can happen.