Democrats will get close to an impeachment vote for President Trump in 2020 but they won’t go through with it because many Democrats are worried about political blowback from key moderate voters in the midst of a presidential election, Harvard Law School constitutional scholar Mark Tushnet tells the Herald’s Rick Sobey:
I predict Democrats will keep pushing forward with inquiries in the House of Representatives through the end of 2019 and into the start of 2020, but then Democratic leaders will hold off on a formal impeachment vote.
It’s because you have political uncertainty and the problem with timing as the 2020 presidential election comes closer.
There’s uncertainty among Democratic leadership about whether going forward with the impeachment process would benefit the Democratic Party.
There’s no question core Democrats are in favor of impeachment, but there’s uncertainty about how the middle-of-the-road people, the moderates, the centrists, would react to an impeachment vote.
If we were back in 2017 and the special counsel’s investigation had just ended, an impeachment vote would be much more likely.
But now we’re fast approaching an election, and there’s a decent case to be made that the better way to address the presidential behavior is through the ordinary political process of an election, rather than through impeachment.
The impeachment process includes two big decisions: It combines both a legal judgment decision with a political decision. Lawmakers first have to figure out whether it’s sensible to think the president committed a high crime and/or misdemeanor.
Then even if they do, they also have to make a political judgment whether it’s politically desirable for the Democratic Party and nation as a whole to engage in a formal impeachment inquiry.
In this case, the evidence for obstruction of justice is pretty strong to justify moving forward.
When you compare it to before the impeachment proceedings for (former presidents) Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, there’s equally sufficient evidence to believe it’s worth looking deeper into impeachment for President Trump.
Few Republicans at the beginning of Nixon’s impeachment proceedings said he should be impeached, but they began to abandon him before he resigned. With Clinton, Democrats stuck with him throughout.
At this point, you don’t know what Republicans would do in respect to Trump. They could see a wave coming for impeachment and bail, but that’s not likely.
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