Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to name and shame Republicans who oppose impeaching Donald Trump.
The freshman Democrat is calling for an impeachment vote to get Republicans “on the record” supporting the president so they can “have that stain on their careers for the rest of their lives,” The Washington Examiner reports. The challenge places Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (NY) at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has long opposed impeaching Trump without a surefire case for his removal.
AOC calls for impeachment vote
After Robert Mueller’s disastrous testimony and the media’s subsequent vanishing act on the Trump–Russia collusion story, impeachment momentum seems to have dialed down. As Democrats continue to mull whether to impeach Trump (like they have done for months, despite claiming to have certain evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors), they have begun investigating Trump’s business interests as a new, desperate line of attack.
But “Emoluments Clause” just doesn’t have quite the same ring as “treason,” and even Ocasio-Cortez seems to understand that actually removing Trump from office is a pipe dream, considering that Republicans still control the Senate. Lacking the votes to actually expel Trump, Fox News reports that Ocasio-Cortez wants to leave Republicans with the “stain” of having supported him for the remainder of their days.
“Once the House impeaches, the House has impeached the president. And then that hearing goes to the Senate,” she said, according to The Hill. “If they want to fail it, then I want to see every Republican go on the record and knowingly vote against impeachment of this president — knowing his corruption, having it on the record so that they can have that stain on their careers for the rest of their lives.”
To impeach Trump, Democrats need 218 votes in the House. They have 129, a majority of the Democratic caucus. But not even Pelosi supports impeachment. Where does that leave her in Ocasio-Cortez’s moral calculation?
The first Republican to support impeachment, Justin Amash, has since left the party, and no other Republicans are on the record supporting impeachment, according to The New York Times.
It looks like Ocasio-Cortez wants to stage a sham vote to attack the Republican Party for its “complicity” in failing to hold Trump “accountable” for whatever non-specific crime Trump supposedly committed. This, despite previously criticizing a “wasteful” vote to get lawmakers on the record over her Green New Deal, the Daily Caller notes.
Failing impeachment, Dems settle for smears
But while impeachment talk continues to dither, there is no clear resolve by Democrat leaders to take that route. Democrats have repeatedly said that impeaching Trump is both necessary and supported by the “facts,” but neither Pelosi nor Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), whose Judiciary panel has the power to launch impeachment, have taken the plunge.
Pelosi has said that she would rather see Trump prosecuted after Democrats vote him out in 2020, rather than risk electoral blowback with premature impeachment proceedings. And despite reports of a clash between Pelosi and Nadler, in reality, the two seem to be of one mind.
According to the New York Post, Nadler claims to be pushing an impeachment inquiry, but the process seems to be all spectacle with little substance to back up threats of “accountability” for Trump’s alleged crimes.
If Democrats are really convinced that Donald Trump is a criminal, they’re doing a terrible job of showing it. Even the most committed impeachment zealots, like Ocasio-Cortez, have realized the unlikelihood of actually impeaching Trump.
If they actually had a case, it wouldn’t be so complicated. But that won’t stop progressives like Ocasio-Cortez from trying to bruise Republicans with the usual smear tactics.