Impeaching Trump Is Now Being Discussed By Some Republicans, But Will Others Follow?

Two Republican senators said Tuesday that they would support impeachment if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller while he investigates potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Yet, despite the dramatic ending of Trump's presidency being mooted by Republicans for the first time, there appears little prospect anytime soon of the threat gaining widespread acceptance within the president's party.

Trump ramped up his anti-Mueller rhetoric this week, prompting fears that the president was considering ousting the special counsel. The president tweeted Saturday that “[T]he Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign” and called the investigation a “WITCH HUNT!”

Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake, both of whom have leveled criticism against the president before, indicated that firing Mueller would be impeachable conduct. While neither senator represents the heart of the Republican establishment, their words send a message to the president that his party would not unanimously support him.

While Republican rank-and-file would prefer that the president allow Mueller to finish his investigation, “they also recognize gamesmanship of Democrats and never-Trump Republicans by proposing impeachment,” says Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked on Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign.

“Republicans are going to give Trump the leeway to try and discredit and turn public opinion against Mueller because they know that if Democrats win big in midterms, they’ll file impeachment papers.” Midterm elections tend to be base affairs, said O’Connell, “the folks who try to run from the president of either party wind up the ones that get slashed at the ballot.”

Read more form Nicole Goodkind at Newsweek

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