The Republican-controlled Senate is all he has left. Once the House of Representatives was lost to the Democrats in the November mid-term elections. The question about Impeachment went from if to when with only timing in doubt. Democrats appear to be wisely waiting for the Mueller report to be issued, possibly combined with separate actions from the US Attorney from the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Providing all the damning evidence needed to begin the process.
House Democrats already have the simple majority of votes required to Impeach the President and send the matter to the Senate for trial. The question has always been, “What will it take to get enough Republican Senators to join Democrats to get to a two-thirds vote to remove Donald J Trump? What will be the final straw?
Trump has already survived “final straws” which would have been sufficient to undermine most others even while he ran for President. The Access Hollywood video where Trump described his ability to sexually assault women and infamously, “grab them by the pussy,” should have been enough. Yet he survived and went on to win the election. Since then he has been exposed as a serial liar, admitted to making payoffs to two women that alleged sexual relationships with Trump, and acknowledged long-running negotiations with Russians to build a Trump Tower Moscow while continuing to run for President. He’s obstructed justice in plain view and still, he stands.
Republican Senators have continued to lower the bar as to what is acceptable to accommodate Trump and for now would refuse to convict him despite what already appears to be overwhelming evidence the President has committed crimes, some while in office.
Reaction from Republican Senators has ranged from diminishing the seriousness of campaign law violations, ignoring the evidence of additional crimes, and waiting to see what other shoes drop before deciding which way to turn. New reports confirm that Republicans are already discussing at what point do they run away from Trump, whether it should be done sooner than later? Thus far though, they are standing firm in supporting Trump, fearing their future is tied to the Trump base. They are waiting for the public to lead them rather than the other way around. So what will it take?
Senate Republicans will be oblivious to each new days release of, “Breaking News” when we learn one more new thing to add to what they already know. The eventual release of the Mueller report will send them into hiding for a few days, avoiding reporters and cameras. Eventually, Fox News will provide them a narrative although it may not pass the smell test. Only when their constituents let them know they have no hope of reelection as long as they continue to stand by a criminal that has committed treason against their country will they begin to listen.
The other thing that will cause them to act is timing. As they watch their own brands being tied to Trump’s and realize the Senate will face devastating Republican losses in 2020 unless something changes. Someone will produce the narrative that if they could get rid of the Trump anchor, they could salvage their reputations with President Mike Pence.
If they wait too long… it won’t matter. If Pence also finds himself embroiled in conspiracy charges… it won’t matter. When all the soundbites are played of them standing with a liar and a crook… it won’t matter. Truth is, they’ve already waited too long. Any pretense of the country first and not the party is long gone.
Finally, they will go to Trump in secret and tell him as their predecessors once told Nixon, “You don’t have the votes!” Trump is less likely to resign than Nixon unless it’s tied to the freedom of his children. The Senators will eventually have to go public in standing against the President. Finding nerve in numbers as they were afraid to stand alone. It will happen, but way too late.