The idea is that Cohen's payments to two bimbos were technically campaign contributions intended to influence the election rather than to shut them up to prevent generic reputational damage to Trump's marriage. Looked at objectively, that's somewhat flimsy, and charging a campaign finance violation like that as a felony is almost unprecedented. As potential felony charges, these could be treated as the basis of impeachment by the now-Democrat House. And of course there is huge demand for impeachment, stoked and stroked for two years now by the media and the Deep State on both sides of the political aisle.
But the Senate is extremely unlikely to convict and remove. Democrats would need 20 GOP votes in the Senate, and it seems unlikely they will get that. Any GOP member voting to remove a Republican president can expect enough of his base to stay home in the next election to doom him, even if they have to wait a few years. There would be dramatic losses among those up in the next election, even if they voted against, simply as a matter of getting to who you can get to. Within the Republican party it would mark the transition from a cold war of paperwork and politics for control of the party to an open party split.
So what's really going on?
I don't think impeachment is the strategy. I think impeachment is the sideshow. Democrats would welcome impeachment and removal, but they don't expect to get it. Maybe they will get impeachment charges out of the House in time to influence the election and make Trump look bad as he runs for reelection, which would put pressure on the Republican party to maybe run someone else. I'm sure the party would love an excuse to do that if they can find a way.
But the real aim is leverage. Mueller is winding down his investigation. He's got very little to work with in his goal to protect the Deep State and, if possible, the Clintons. These New York campaign finance charges are effectively a long term threat against the President after he leaves office. If no charges are filed until after Trump leaves office, Trump can't defend himself or his friends with the pardon power, and no longer has the power to declassify. He's just a private citizen without any Deep State support.
So these campaign finance charges are a hang-fire threat. If Trump doesn't play ball -- if he goes after the Clinton Foundation for Uranium One and god only knows what else they did -- if he goes after the Deep State for abusing our national security infrastructure to swing an election -- then he will be charged, after leaving office, with these campaign finance charges.
If Trump loses in 2020, he's vulnerable personally just as the Clintons are presently vulnerable personally. The tit for tat is implied.
People are suggesting that the statute of limitations will run out if Trump wins re-election. I don't think that's a barrier with the right judge. ("You cannot escape justice by running out the clock via the electoral process, so the statute of limitations shall not consider time in office in this case..." the argument practically writes itself). But the Democrats can always try for impeachment more seriously after 2020 if their odds in the Senate improve, or find something new to charge Trump with. This particular threat only needs to keep the Clintons and the Deep State safe while Trump is in office, and the Democrats are confident they can win in 2020 or find something new to use if not.
God help us if they are right.
This entry was published Wed Jan 02 08:47:18 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2019-01-02 08:47:18.0.