Muftic: Impeachment will be driving issue in 2018 |

Muftic: Impeachment will be driving issue in 2018

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo |

With a president bent on self-preservation in the face of impeachment threats, it is quite possible that the 2018 Congressional elections will turn into a national referendum on the impeachment of President Trump. The most serious issue on the table will be whether President Trump obstructed justice or conspired with Russians to throw the 2016 elections to defeat Hillary Clinton. So far evidence of such “misdeeds and misdemeanors” have not touched the President himself, but the investigation has not been completed. Witnesses are still being interviewed and evidence is still being collected. It is even possible the Special Counsel led by Robert Mueller will exonerate him and his family members.

However, revealed last week that there is an attempt by elements in the GOP House meeting secretly or by President himself to cripple the investigation by firing Mueller or disbanding the Special Counsel investigation, the ultimate obstruction of justice. Suddenly in mid-December, the president and his media and Congressional loyalists ramped up a “fire Mueller” campaign. It looks like they are expecting bad news from the Mueller investigation and are making a preemptive strike to destroy credibility of any of the Special Counsel findings.

What has changed from Trump’s confidence that he is clear of any prosecution? The person in the best position to know the inner workings of the Trump campaign, transition, and administration, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, has begun singing like a canary to the Mueller investigators.

This past week President Trump’s media and Congressional cohorts launched a coordinated talking point effort to destroy the credibility and impartiality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI. President Trump claimed the whole FBI was “in tatters” and “corrupt” because one FBI agent had texted scorn of him, even though Mueller removed that agent from the investigation last summer. He added this new line to his claim the Special Counsel was on a witch hunt and the investigation was a hoax. This newest propaganda initiative by Trumpists appears to lay the groundwork to get public approval for the firing of Mueller or President Trump’s issuing pardons to any of his family or close friends who are in danger of prosecution.

The humor in the Trumpist charge that the Mueller investigation is “faux” so partisan motivated against Trump is in spite of four indictments and two guilty pleas. This is the same FBI whose director James Comey disclosed publicly 10 days before the 2016 election that Hillary Clinton’s emails were once again under investigation while every FBI agent involved was keeping it a dark secret that candidate Trump had been under FBI investigation for his Russian connections all along. Many blame the FBI for Clinton’s loss.

Voters are becoming aware that it is the House of Representatives that initiates the impeachment process, an action that is much like an indictment. So long as the House is in the hands of the GOP majority as is the Senate which needs a 2/3 vote to convict the only way to break partisan resistance is to elect enough Democrats to both the Senate and the House. For that reason, my prediction is the 2018 Congressional election cycle mostly will be about whether voters think the President should or should not be impeached. Those who are unhappy with Trump’s assault on health care affordability, the environment, race relations, civil rights, consumer financial protection, women’s rights and respect, and even democracy itself, will join the impeachment movement as a unifying focus.

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