Republicans Secretly Study Their Coming Hell

From today’s Axios Newsletter:

Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that’s circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill — including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House.

Why this matters: Publicly, House Republicans are putting on a brave face about the midterms. But privately, they are scrambling to prepare for the worst. This document, which catalogs requests Democrats have already made, is part of that effort.

It has churned Republican stomachs. Here are some of the probes it predicts:

  • President Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
  • Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
  • The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
  • James Comey’s firing
  • Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys
  • Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings
  • White House staff’s personal email use
  • Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
  • Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
  • Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance
  • Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
  • The travel ban
  • Family separation policy
  • Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
  • Election security and hacking attempts
  • White House security clearances

This is my dream come true. If the Democrats win the House in November, I don’t think moving forward with impeachment makes much sense. They won’t convict in the Senate (they need to win a two-thirds vote), trying gives Republicans a political rallying point, and, frankly, the administration has not been discredited enough in the eyes of the public to justify impeachment.

If Democrats take the House, though, they have subpoena power. Trump’s business dealings have been dirty for years, and with subpoena power they can open up tons of investigations and have them all bear fruit. There will be new revelations in the press almost weekly. It will totally bog down the administration, and put congressional Republicans in a very awkward spot of having to defend what Democrats are exposing.

Hopefully months and months of these investigations will whiddle down Trump supporters to the most devoted followers and not much else. I don’t need impeachment if that means a path to victory in 2020.