Mitch McConnell has some words of advice for House Democrats poised to take control of the lower chamber: Please don't be mean to Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is warning Democrats to think carefully about “presidential harassment” if they win the majority of the House.
The Kentucky Republican told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that Democratic threats to investigate President Donald Trump’s finances and businesses would “help the president get re-elected” in 2020.
Because, naturally, Mitch McConnell is suddenly worried about helping the Democrats defeat Trump.
The proper reading of this is borderline panic. McConnell knows full well that even mild investigations into Trump will uncover massive amounts of corruption. And that's just into Trump, nevermind his historically crooked Cabinet which includes McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao who seems to spend an enormous amount of time missing from her job.
McConnell is referring to the GOP's scorched-earth war on Bill Clinton in the 90s that ended in a failed impeachment and a political rarity: a stalemate in the Senate and the loss of seats in the House during a midterm election in which the other party controlled the White House. In light of that debacle, McConnell's warning might seem warranted. But there's a difference and he knows it.
Unlike the Clinton witchhunt, the Democrats will be investigating actual criminals. I know it's all the rage to call the Clintons "shady" and "corrupt" but Republicans and the press have spent 30+ years and untold millions of dollars investigated every facet of their lives with nothing to show for it. Either the Clintons are the greatest criminal masterminds of all time or there's nothing to find.
On the other hand, in the less than two years the press has bothered to do its job, they've dug up enough criminal activity committed by Trump to end any other presidency. In just a little over one year, the Mueller probe has convicted 8 people connected to the Trump campaign of various crimes and a few of them are cooperating with prosecutors, potentially spilling the beans on Trump's other criminal activities. The probe has also indicted 26 people (all Russian agents) and 3 corporations (Russian fronts) for their role in attacking the 2016 election. Some of those indicted have ties to Trump and his entourage of scumbags.
This is why Republicans really don't want Democrats to investigate Trump. Not only will it expose Trump and his regime as the criminals they are, but it will also expose the Republican Party as co-conspirators. They've spent the last two years burying the scandals and refusing to investigate. Should House Democrats start digging into Republican emails, how much will they find about how much Republicans knew and when they knew it? Being a Senator or a congressperson does not mean you are immune from prosecution for obstruction of justice. I'm looking at you, Devin Nunes.
And if Jeff Sessions refuses to move against his former colleagues, it will enrage the public even more. They're already pissed off at the corruption of the government. They will not tolerate it in the highest reaches of law enforcement.
This is where McConnell knows it will all go badly for Republicans. The reason people punished Republicans in the 90s is that they knew the entire thing freakout was a farce. They elevated marital infidelity to an impeachment-worthy offense. That won't be the case with Trump. Tax evasion, blackmail, Russian mob connections, bribery, money laundering, etc. etc. etc. are all real crimes that come with prison sentences and the evidence will be made public. Republicans won't be able to hide it anymore. Instead, they will have to make the case that it's OK for the President of the United States to be a criminal and quite probably a Russian asset.
Good luck running on that as a platform in 2020.
The best part is, the more criminal and corrupt Trump turns out to be, the worse it will be for Republicans. Something else McConnell is painfully aware of. The GOP has lashed itself so tightly to the bow of the S.S. Trumptanic that when it goes down, they're going with it. The coming investigations will almost certainly be fatal for a number of Republicans which is why they need to be done calmly, thoroughly, and as transparently as possible. Let the facts speak for themselves and the let McConnell and his cronies descend into total hysteria. Criminals always panic when they're cornered.