When it comes to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, it is becoming abundantly obvious that republicans are pursuing the wrong defense tactic.
Virtually every witness that has come before congress to testify in these impeachment hearings has testified that there was a quid pro quo orchestrated by the president and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Sure, they don’t show up at their hearing with a recording of the president laying it out, but nothing like that has ever been needed when witness after witness testifies to virtually the same thing.
And these are not “Never Trumpers” or democratic operatives. The majority of the witnesses who have appeared before congress are Trump’s own political appointees or people hired by Trump to work in the White House. Many of whom still work in the White House or continue to serve as Trump’s foreign ambassadors.
And every single one of them has testified in virtually the same manor, that they were aware of, and some even instructed, that Ukraine would not receive military aid appropriated by congress until they announced an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
It happened. And any logical thinking individual knows that.
The republicans current defense tactic of attempting to deny that the quid pro quo ever happened is making the entire party look rather foolish.
Sure, it may work with the most hardened portion of the base that will literally believe anything they tell them to. But, for everyone else, and particular those more moderate middle of the road voters who will decide the 2020 election, that defense no longer holds any weight.
The evidence is simply too overwhelming.
Republicans need to make a pivot and they need to do so quickly.
The new defense, which could actually work, needs to be that the so-called quid pro quo happened, but that the president has every right to direct his own foreign policy and he has every right to request investigations into foreign corruption before handing over hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. That is not an impeachable offense. Not even close.
Granted, he was focused in on Biden and his son – aka is political rivals – but that can also be easily spun, and here is how they can do it: This was part of larger corruption investigation the president wanted from the Ukraine before handing over such a large sum of taxpayer money. Biden and his son were mentioned in this because Joe Biden himself essentially admitted to it during an interview several years ago.
Well, certainly far easier than attempting to convince the public that the quid pro quo never happened despite one witness after another testifying to it.
And if they even want to take it a step further, heck, throw Giuliani under the bus.
Spin it in a way that portrays Giuliani as the one more interested in the political outcome of the investigations and pushing for the investigation into the Bidens. Better Giuliani being thrown under the bus as part of this admission than the president.
There are a number of tactics republicans can pursue as part of their defense of the president moving forward, but attempting to convince the public that the quid pro quo never happened at all is not one of them. That ship has sailed.
It is time for republicans to pivot their defense of the president, and they need to do so rather quickly.