Not only was today’s failed House Republican SCIF coup one of the most embarrassing things to ever happen in the history of Congress, it also served no purpose, as Defense Department official Laura Cooper ended up being able to give her impeachment testimony anyway. If you’re wondering who was behind the stunt, let’s just say it turns out the ringleader’s name rhymes with “Ronald Grump.”
Donald Trump knew about the House Republican SCIF stunt in advance and encouraged it, according to a predictable report this evening from Bloomberg. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. But it may end up being important, for both legal reasons and perceptual reasons.
First, the House Republicans appear to have committed a criminal act by illegally entering the SCIF without authorization, by refusing to leave when asked, and by taking photos and video within the SCIF. This illegal stunt was specifically aimed at preventing an impeachment witness from testifying against Donald Trump. Now that it turns out Trump was behind it, this is a clear cut case of felony obstruction of justice on his part. It could well end up being included in the articles of impeachment against him.
Second, this idiotic House Republican SCIF stunt was already shaping up to make Donald Trump look even more guilty. When your allies do something buffoonish to try to block a witness from testifying against you, it’s not a good look. But now the House Democrats can promote the fact that Trump himself was behind this stunt, which makes him look even more guilty. Impeachment polls will solely decide whether Trump is ousted, and this kind of thing helps shift those numbers.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report