Monday, December 17, 2018

Why Dems Will Not Face Trump in 2020


Potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 have been dipping their toes in the political waters to determine if they will indeed make a run. From the familiar Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden to the lesser known Julian Castro and Mitch Landrieu, with well over a dozen in between including Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, these individuals are exploring whether or not they can raise sufficient money for a presidential bid, if they are viable to survive the grueling primary system, and to see if the voters think they are tough enough to stand up to Donald Trump in 2020. 

The latter point is interesting as these candidates will attempt to out-Trump Trump in an effort to corral the Democratic base behind them.  It should be noted, however, that Hillary Clinton has always been considered tough yet she couldn’t topple Trump for a bevy of reasons irrespective of her toughness. 

Nonetheless, voters, especially Democratic voters, will be applying ideological litmus tests to these candidates as well as determining their electability against an opponent who has yet to approach, much less crack 50 percent job approval.

With all the hand wringing that will take place in order to figure out an effective way to “stand up to Trump,” it may be a moot point.   I may be in a small minority but I truly believe that Donald Trump will not be their opponent in 2020.

The President’s legal woes haven’t even scratched the surface and already he’s in trouble. For the first time, Federal prosecutors directly implicated Trump for federal crimes involving illegal campaign contributions resulting from payments made to Trump’s alleged mistresses in an effort to defraud the U.S. by paying hush money to these women so their stories remained hidden from the voters during the 2016 campaign.

Those offenses alone supported by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s statement as well as corroborating evidence and testimony that are in the possession of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would amount to, in the opinion of many legal scholars, an impeachable offense.

Yet, that is just the tip of the iceberg.  According to NBC News, the following are other investigations underway:

. The Mueller probe looking at Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and whether there was cooperation/coordination/assistance from the Trump campaign;

. New York prosecutors looking at the inaugural committee;

. New York’s attorney general examining the Trump Foundation and Trump’s business dealings;

. the lawsuits looking at whether Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause through his business dealings; and

. the defamation lawsuit by Summer Zervos, who alleges that Trump defamed her after she claimed she was sexually assaulted by the president in 2007.

In addition, there is Mr. Mueller’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice on the part of the President (think: Comey and Sessions firings, Trump’s public comments to Lester Holt and, of course, his tweets).

And let’s not forget the myriad investigations the Democratic-controlled House will launch in 2019.  Any organization Trump had led over the past decade is currently or will be under investigation. Follow the money because with Trump, it’s all about money.

A full listing of ALL the investigations that involve Trump and Russia can be seen here.

That is one big basket of deplorable legal perils. 

My gut tells me that the meticulous, professional and extremely competent Mr. Mueller will present
Image: The Daily Beast
(if allowed to complete his work) a convincingly damning case against Mr. Trump in the areas of his purview. Moreover, the relentless U.S. Attorney’s office in the SDNY as well as an incoming New York State Attorney General will probably clobber Mr. Trump and members of his family for other crimes.

So, what does all this mean with respect to 2020?  There will likely be Articles of Impeachment drawn by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives after reviewing the reports and/or indictments that will undoubtedly be forthcoming. But even if impeachment is voted by the House, the fate of Mr. Trump’s removal from office rests in the hands of the Senate.

When President Nixon was about to be impeached, key Republicans approached him to tell him his time was up.  Rather than face a difficult and divisive trial, Nixon chose to resign.

 Most people that I know believe a defiant Donald Trump would never cave like Nixon did.  He will fight back with all his might and try to rally what will remain of his loyal base to “revolt,” as he suggested, pressuring Senate Republicans from convicting.

Whether those Senators will succumb to such pressure will be determined by how the public reacts to the Special Counsel’s report and indictments and from what the SDNY brings to the table.

If the evidence is so overwhelming and his support erodes significantly, I suspect Mr. Trump will choose not to fight any impeachment attempt and may resign and return to his gilded lifestyle that was partially interrupted by winning the presidency. Even his wife feels the stress is too much for his health.  

More likely though, he will not seek a second term and will blame the media, the Democrats, President Obama, “Crooked Hillary” and everybody else but himself.

Either way, Democratic presidential candidates will not be facing Mr. Trump in 2020.

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