Is this a headline you ever want to see? Is this the ammunition you want to provide Trump as we head into the 2020 elections? “Acquitted” will become his campaign mantra. FOX News will proclaim: “Coup thwarted! Trump beats back traitors! Fake News Media exposed!”

Trump, the wounded wildebeest, will become more dangerous and vengeful. Congress and the Supreme Court will be his. And once re-elected, he will be come closer to achieving his goal as Supreme Ruler.

It’s a nightmare scenario we can avoid only if Democrats exercise discipline.

Under our Constitution, the House of Representatives is granted the power to impeach a president. The Senate has the power to convict.

Or acquit.

We would rue that day. The Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump would spell disaster — not just for our party, but for our democracy.

Nevertheless, impeachment talk is roiling among Democrats in the House. Almost all of our presidential candidates are calling for impeachment as well.

Democrats across the country have seen enough of Trump’s illegal, erratic and egregious behavior. A commanding 76 percent of registered Democrats favor impeachment, according to a new CNN poll published Sunday. See Impeachment Poll.

The country as a whole, however, is not ready. In the same poll, 54 percent disapprove of impeachment. The numbers are a snapshot in time, and all but the most ardent Trump supporters could be moved by events.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding firm against impeachment because she has an end game: the 2020 elections. Hold the House. Put the Senate in play. And most of all, capture the presidency. This cannot happen without party discipline.

  • The House should continue its investigations. Affirm and amplify the truth in the Meuller report, truth that Trump and Attorney General Barr have so successfully obscured.
  • Make the strategic decision to either hold independent investigations in the House Judiciary, Intelligence and Oversight committees; or consolidate the investigation as an impeachment inquiry under Judiciary Committee. An inquiry is not a commitment to impeach, but may give Democrats greater legal standing to break Trump’s blockade of witnesses and documents going to the Hill.
  • Throughout the investigation, lead the electorate to the right decision; too many have become numb to Trump’s boorish behavior, callousness and lack of respect for Constitutional norms. It’s just background noise. Bring the evidence to life.
  • Uncover new and compelling evidence of the president’s crimes. But unless and until evidence emerges so profound that the president cannot survive it’s impact, a vote to impeach is a trap.

Without such evidence, the Republican Senate will never attain a conviction, which requires a two-thirds vote of the body. GOP Senators long ago have given their blind loyalty to Trump. They are incapable of living up to their oath of office.

And so, the Senate will acquit, and the country will suffer for years – or decades – to come.


                                                                                                       –Richard Leonard,  Communications Committee