Opinion: Republicans Know Trump Is Innocent—They’re Trying to Figure Out Why - - PressFrom - US

Opinion Republicans Know Trump Is Innocent—They’re Trying to Figure Out Why

18:15  12 november  2019
18:15  12 november  2019 Source:   theatlantic.com

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Most of them know what their conclusion is— Trump is innocent and should not be impeached or removed—but they haven’t figured out why , and no one is The White House has made clear that it will launch an all- out offensive against any Republican who dares to criticize the president at all.

Trump told King that he was a registered Republican and that a Reform Party run would mean a split with a King: Why would you leave the Republican Party? Trump : I think that nobody is really hitting it We reached out to Thomas, who contacted us about the Facebook meme, to tell him it was a fake.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie© Tom Brenner / Reuters

Give Mac Thornberry this much: Unlike some of his Republican colleagues, he was at least trying.

On Sunday the Texas Republican appeared on ABC’s This Week, where he tentatively offered a message on the impeachment inquiry, which enters its public phase with hearings this Wednesday and Friday. Thornberry sought a middle course.

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Since Donald Trump is our incumbent president, and will thus almost surely be the GOP nominee in People are meeting over their garages — their ateliers — trying to figure out who's going to do it The position of Republican leadership is clear: Trump is the president and the de facto head of the party. Background: Recently re -elected senator, former Texas solicitor general, Bush administration

Republicans used to argue that the Russia scandal was a hoax because Democrats wanted a pretext to impeach President Trump . Instead they have decided the news proves just the opposite: Democrats must know Trump is innocent of wrongdoing on Russia.

“I believe that it is inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival,” he said. “I believe it was inappropriate. I do not believe it was impeachable.”

Debatable, but coherent. But from there, things went off the rails. First, Thornberry inadvertently compared President Donald Trump to a rapist or murderer while critiquing the procedure House Democrats have used (though perhaps he is not far off). He then offered the defense that Trump couldn’t be impeached because the abuse of power in the Ukraine scandal is his standard operating procedure. “There’s not anything that the president said in that phone call that’s different than he says in public all the time,” he said.

Thornberry’s performance may have been stumbling, but he was still more persuasive than Senator Lindsey Graham. In September, the South Carolinian said, “If you’re looking for a circumstance where the president of the United States was threatening the Ukraine with cutting off aid unless they investigated his political opponent, you’d be very disappointed. That does not exist.” As testimony leaked out that showed there was, in fact, a quid pro quo, Graham demanded full transcripts. And when it became clear that they backed the quid pro quo, he announced that he would not read the transcripts and said he had “written the whole process off.”

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You’ re seeing that dynamic most vividly with the Republicans ’ efforts to repeal Obamacare. But President Trump is even less attuned to policy detail than the typical House Republican . He didn’t campaign on a detailed policy agenda. And he seems to have only recently figured out what a policy

They try to find the most disgusting horrible picture they can find and put that up on screen. That is exactly what the Trump administration is trying to do to these To be honest, if we ' re going to have any chance of impeaching Trump it's not going to be for anything involving Russia other than perjury.

Thornberry and Graham are both grappling in their own ways with a conundrum facing Republicans, in both the House and the Senate. Most of them know what their conclusion is—Trump is innocent and should not be impeached or removed—but they haven’t figured out why, and no one is helping them out.

Typically, this is the sort of role that the White House would play, with a war room designing and pushing out a message. But Trump has declined to set up such an operation, relying on his Twitter account to push his message. “He is the war room,” Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News earlier this month. If Twitter is the president’s army, it’s a fighting force that’s ready and willing to go over the top at a moment’s notice, but one that eschews any kind of long-term strategic planning.

The White House has made clear that it will launch an all-out offensive against any Republican who dares to criticize the president at all. As for affirmative defenses, the White House’s line—which is to say the president’s—is that Trump did absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate, as he reiterated Sunday:

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It also exposes the challenge that Republicans face in the Trump era, as they try to court Latino voters while not running afoul of a president who has “ They know on some level that their defense of Trump is morally unsupportable, and so when they get a chance to speak out against Steve King

“ They admitted they were guilty,” he said in a statement to CNN this month. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. In the hundreds of post-conviction DNA exonerations that the Innocence Project has studied, at least one in four of the wrongly convicted had given a confession.

While a few Republicans are willing to adopt this line of argument, most are not. It’s simply a very hard claim to make based on the factual evidence, and consistentlyabouttwo-thirds of Americans tell pollsters they believe that what Trump did was inappropriate.

Republicans aren’t getting much messaging help from the second-most powerful official in the party either. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told caucus members at a meeting in October that “their best bet was to calibrate their own message about the impeachment inquiry to fit their political situation,” according to the Associated Press. McConnell himself has studiously avoided taking a stance. In October, he pointedly denied telling Trump his July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “the most innocent phone call that I’ve read,” but did not offer an alternative assessment.

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If that does happen, I don’t know that they ’ re required to bar him from office. If the Senate refuses to convict, it’s exactly as if an indicted person is found to be innocent . And were President Trump to be impeached and not convicted, the fallout would likely severely damage the Democratic Party, just

Most of them tried to govern without the appearance of an ongoing campaign on the theory they Trump tried this before and failed to push Sessions out when the GOP base rallied to Sessions’s side. Republicans such as Nunes and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (who indulges Nunes) might

A few Republicans have either labeled Trump’s call wrong or managed to avoid commenting. (Igor Bobic has a useful list on Senate Republican views.) But in the absence of guidance, the majority of Republican members who are trying to stick with Trump have been left to fend for themselves and come up with defenses. They’ve ended up in three main categories:

The president did nothing wrong. The advantage of this position is that it puts you on the same side as the president, and means he won’t be taking shots at you publicly, the way he has at some other Republicans. The disadvantage is it puts you on the same side as the president—and against the judgment of most Americans. (Some of the people espousing it have constituencies that may be more Trump-friendly than the general populace.)

The president did something wrong, but it’s not an impeachable offense. This is perhaps the simplest position to argue, since it allows members to concede that something is rotten without having to actually take the drastic step of backing impeachment. Yet it conflicts with the president’s insistence that he did nothing wrong and the call was “perfect,” making it a precarious ledge on which to stand.

The president did nothing wrong, but his advisers did. This view, far more ridiculous than the “he did nothing wrong” defense, holds that although various Trump aides, including government officials and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, may have extorted Ukraine to announce politically motivated investigations in exchange for a White House visit and the release of military aid, “there is no direct linkage to the president of the United States,” as Representative Mark Meadows put it. Never mind that Trump had made the demand himself in the call with Zelensky, to name one serious flaw in the argument.

The glaring problem with this splintered response is that the defenses are mutually exclusive. If the president did nothing wrong, then the act couldn’t have been inappropriate but not impeachable. If the president didn’t know what was going on, how would everything he’d done have been perfect and aboveboard?

These contradictions undermine the effort to defend Trump in the court of public opinion. Whether they’ll matter in a more immediate sense is unclear. The White House position seems to be that it doesn’t matter what defense Republicans adopt as long as it’s a defense. And so far, enough Republicans are embracing some defense of Trump’s behavior that he seems not to be in imminent danger of removal by the Senate after a House impeachment.

Giuliani: House investigation ‘a travesty’ .
Giuliani: House investigation ‘a travesty’“After 3 witnesses no evidence has been presented of any offense. The first two permanent diplomats had no direct knowledge just overhearing things. The third one had no knowledge not even hearsay. This is a travesty,“ he tweeted.

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