The walls are closing in on Trump. Each day brings a new revelation about the Ukraine scandal, as well as new developments relating to the Mueller probe. Yes, the Mueller probe. Recall that instead of testifying to Mueller in person, Trump answered questions in writing. Trump’s answers were sworn testimony. And Mueller asked questions about Roger Stone and Wikileaks, to which Trump answered that he had no conversation or contact between either. But the recent Roger Stone trial revealed that Trump apparently did have conversations with Stone about Wikileaks, which if true would constitute another impeachable act–lying to Congress.
Add to that the new witnesses testifying to the House impeachment inquiry saying that Ambassador Sondland made a very public (unsecured) phone call to Trump from Ukraine where Trump was heard asking whether Ukraine would announce an investigation into Biden in exchange for US aid. This was yet another devastating piece of evidence confirming that Trump and his cadre of Ukraine stooges were conspiring to extort Ukraine for personal gain. And it’s yet another blow to the GOP defense of Trump, which seems to shrink and flip-flop by the hour. Pretty soon their only remaining response will be, “Yes Trump is corrupt and betrayed his oath and extorted Ukraine. So what??”
Removing Trump from office will be a nearly impossible task but the impeachment inquiry can have other crucial effects. If it reduces support for Trump from 41% (as reported by FiveThirtyEight.com yesterday) to 40% or even 39%, it would be a big blow to Trump’s reelection chances. He only won by a total of 107,000 votes in the three critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. And the 2018 congressional results and 2019 local elections point to a groundswell of voters casting their ballots against Trump. Young voters turned out in record numbers, and independent voters also went big for Democratic candidates. These trends will only get better for us and worse for Trump in 2020.
A lot of important testimony will happen later this week, so the pressure on Trump will continue to rise. It’s worth wondering if his surprise doctor visit over the weekend was connected to the pressure he felt from the impeachment inquiry. He has still not appeared in public so speculation about the true nature of his malady continues to mount. If the upcoming testimony is as damning as expected, watch for Trump to have more temper tantrums and attack the witnesses. Why won’t Mulvaney and Pompeo testify? Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance gave a very succinct and astute answer yesterday:
No one prevents a witness who can exonerate them from testifying.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed first.