Last night we advised members of the Resistance not to get hung up on the far-right House GOP’s new scheme to impeach and remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as there was literally zero chance there would be enough votes in the Senate to remove him, and it was unlikely there would even be enough votes in the House to begin impeachment hearings. Sure enough, the scheme is already unraveling.
The Rosenstein impeachment effort is being spearheaded by two of Donald Trump’s closest far-right allies in the House, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows. It’s intended as little more than a distraction, so the media and the public will spend the week focusing on it, instead of focusing on the Russian hacker indictments and the Trump-Putin summit. But the House GOP impeachment stunt just took a severe blow from one of its own.
Trey Gowdy has spent years demonstrating that he’s not to be trusted. But in the months since he announced his impending retirement from Congress, he’s begun trying to play to the middle. He says he wants to someday become a federal prosecutor, and he’s trying to paint himself as judicious accordingly. The last thing he needs is to marry himself to a ridiculous failed impeachment stunt of a respected DOJ official. So it wasn’t surprising that Gowdy appeared on Face The Nation this morning and flatly stated that he would not vote to impeach Rosenstein, adding “impeach him for what?”
This is the same Trey Gowdy who, just this past week, was trying to falsely scandalize FBI agent Peter Strzok during public hearings for partisan reasons. But Gowdy isn’t stupid, and he’s not willing to go down the Rod Rosenstein impeachment rabbit hole. When even Gowdy isn’t on board with a partisan Republican stunt, that’s a sign that it’s not going anywhere. Whatever noise Jordan and Meadows manage to make about impeachment on Monday, it won’t go far or last long – and it won’t change a single mind in the court of public opinion.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report