‘Sick Man’: Trump Team’s Counter-Impeachment Strategy Comes Into Focus

The fight is on to sell a divided country on whether Donald Trump deserves to face an impeachment inquiry, with the president and his team aggressively trying to discredit the whistleblower who kicked it off and the House Democrats leading it.

Trump and his surrogates were taken aback immediately after Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday decided emerging details about Trump’s call with incoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy were so concerning that she had no choice but to launch an impeachment inquiry. Even into Thursday evening, team Trump lacked a clear strategy for countering Democrats’ charges of presidential corruption.

But by that evening, their plans started to emerge. And then by Friday morning, it was becoming clear: They would do what the president does best — go big, go bold and push all their chips to the center of the table.

“The Trump team is going to make the case that the Democrats are crying wolf once again — Mueller report, Kavanaugh, etc. — and that this is nothing more than a partisan exercise to appease a rabid base who just refuses to accept Trump as a legitimate president,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist, referring to former special counsel Robert S. Mueller and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The president and his team are betting more than simply clearing Trump’s name or avoiding a Senate trial. They are looking to use their emerging strategy to seize control of all three federal branches of government, the GOP strategist said.

“The Trump team is betting that if they are successful in making this case to persuadable voters that not only will Trump win reelection in 2020, but the Democrats’ miscalculation will put the House in play as well,” O’Connell said.

Read more from John T Bennett at Roll Call

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published this page in In The News 2019-09-28 12:29:56 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy