He’ll be applauded for this because it’s high-minded and scores a point on Trump, but if China knocks on his door during the campaign and offers him Trump’s tax returns and Biden says no — and then loses — the left will never forgive him. We’ll be stuck with insufferable progressive thinkpieces about how Democrats don’t “fight” hard enough until the end of time.
Granted, we’ll be stuck with those thinkpieces if the Democrats lose next year no matter what. But still.
It’s not every day that the chairman of the FEC takes to social media to warn the president, publicly, that it sounds like he’s “prepared to commit a felony to get reelected,” to borrow Andrew Napolitano’s phrase. But here we are.
I would not have thought that I needed to say this. pic.twitter.com/T743CsXq79
— Ellen L Weintraub (@EllenLWeintraub) June 13, 2019
I wonder if there’s a prediction market yet on who’s most likely to be named special counsel in a second Trump term to investigate the president’s possibly felonious acceptance of oppo research from a foreign power. My money’s on Chris Wray, who’s all but certain to be the former director of the FBI by then.
No, I’m kidding. Just try to imagine Bill Barr authorizing an investigation of Trump. That’s why the president felt emboldened to say what he said a few days ago about the possibility of new collusion, I assume. He believes that he finally has an AG who’ll protect him. Who’s going to prosecute him for taking Russian dirt on Joe Biden or whoever?
The only wrinkle is that, once we’re past Election Day, Pelosi’s rationale for holding off on impeachment — and Trump’s rationale for welcoming it — will evaporate. Right now they’re both calculating that impeaching POTUS will galvanize Republican voters while achieving nothing for Democrats. If, however, he wins a second term and evidence emerges that the campaign took info from a foreign government, Pelosi might view impeachment as a way to delegitimize his reelection and to put Republicans back on their heels fresh off their big win. Odds that he’ll be impeached before the end of his first term are low; odds that he’ll be impeached as a lame duck are waaaaay higher. If only for legacy reasons: Given all of their complaints about his legal and ethical practices, it’s hard to imagine Dems letting Trump leave office after a two-term presidency with no formal action ever having been taken against him. Either he’ll leave as a one-termer or they’ll find some reason to impeach him in 2021.
He walked back his comments a bit this morning on “Fox & Friends,” incidentally, saying that “of course” he’d turn over foreign intelligence to the FBI — after he looked at it. How else could he know what’s in it, after all? The question, though, is whether he’d use that intelligence to help his campaign (and whether the intelligence was obtained illegally, a la hacking.) That’s what Biden’s pledging not to do here.