For the third time this week, we’re seeing specific evidence out of the House of Representatives suggesting that the leaders of both parties know it’s over for Donald Trump. Perhaps it’s because they’ve seen just how far along Special Counsel Robert Mueller is. Perhaps it’s because the GOP decided to give up on Trump in the wake of Tuesday’s nationwide election slaughter, and both parties know it. But for whatever reason, the signs out of the House are now unmistakably clear.
First came the news this week that the House Judiciary Committee will be hauling in Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify next week, and that the Democrats on the committee will use their time to grill Sessions about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Donald Trump would love to fire Robert Mueller, but procedurally, he’d have to fire Sessions first. That’s placed the Democrats in Congress in a tricky position: they want to expose the role that Sessions played in the scandal, but they don’t want to give Trump an excuse to fire Sessions. However, this has clearly all changed.
The Democrats on the committee have now clearly decided to begin swinging away at Jeff Sessions, in the hope of blowing the Trump-Russia scandal wide open. They’re clearly no longer worried about handing Trump an excuse to fire Sessions so he can also fire Mueller. This means the Democrats have concluded that the investigation is so far along, and the scandal is going to explode so spectacularly, it no longer matters if Sessions loses his job or not.
Then earlier today Bob Goodlatte, the Republican Chairman of that same House Judiciary Committee, shockingly announced that he won’t seek reelection in 2018. The timing suggests he may end up bailing before his current term is even over. Goodlatte was Trump’s biggest ally on the committee, yet suddenly he’s heading for the exits. Then tonight a prominent Democrat on the committee, Ted Lieu, appeared on cable news and began swinging away at Jeff Sessions.
The most coherent way of reading the signs now coming from the House Judiciary Committee: the Democrats on the committee now feel they’re in a position to go for the jugular on Trump-Russia, and that it’s past the point where Trump could get away with firing Robert Mueller even if Jeff Sessions is cast aside. The Republicans on the committee just want to get out of the way. And oh by the way, the House Judiciary Committee is where articles of impeachment originate.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report