Richard Painter: If Dems don’t impeach now, they deserve to lose in 2020

Former Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter warned Democrats if they refuse to move forward with impeaching President Trump, they “are going to lose in 2020 and probably deserve to lose.”

The assessment coming during an appearance Monday on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber,” after the show’s namesake asked if the allegations that President Trump colluded with the Ukraine government to go after 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden was “an abuse of power, potentially impeachable on its own?”

“This is an impeachable offense, turning the powers of a foreign government against a candidate in the United States who is a political rival of Donald Trump, this in and of itself is impeachable,” Painter insisted.

Eschewing any pretense of due process, he effectively declared Trump guilty, even though there are few facts known about the call in question — sound familiar?

“This president has committed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors and what is happening when the House refuses to impeach him, is that he continues to do more and more of it,” Painter said.

The Democrat then launched into a partisan rant against Trump, before calling out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“That is what is happening,” Painter added. “He is emboldened to continue to violate the constitution, whether it’s the unconstitutional emoluments, whether he is using foreign governments to get to his political opponents, ignoring House subpoenas, showing the middle finger to the United States Congress, the abuses at the border, the list goes on and on and on, and as Speaker Pelosi doesn’t have the courage to impeach him, he’s going to keep on doing it.”

Painter doesn’t seem to grasp that in justifying his assessment, he lays out political consequences Democrats face for not moving to impeach the president, never mind that the GOP-led Senate never gets on board with the effort.

“The other thing [Trump’s] going to do is stand up in the election in 2020, look at his opponent and say look, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Painter explained. “It’s not illegal. If it were illegal, a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives would have impeached me. He is getting a pass from this Congress. It’s critically important that the House not only start impeachment investigations formally, but that they vote on articles of impeachment. All of the evidence is already there. We don’t need more to impeach this president and if they don’t do it, I think the Democrats are going to lose in 2020, and probably deserve to lose.”

Before the Ukraine story broke, Painter was calling on Pelosi to resign for not backing the impeachment efforts of House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

He also tweeted that “2020 will be a disaster for Democrats if ⁦[Pelosi] doesn’t get out of the way.”

And last month Painter was insisting that the House “must” impeach Trump, who he compared to Adolf Hitler.

“The American people will see the evidence, the evidence of corruption, of racism, of violations to the Constitution, a tax on the free press. He calls the newspapers and the media the enemy of the people. That’s the way Hitler talked in Germany in the 1930s and ‘40s. He must be impeached,” Painter declared in an Aug. 31 appearance on “AM Joy.”

The one consistency in all of this is that Democrats continue to show that they have little confidence in their chances to defeat President Trump at the ballot box in 2020 and that their only hope to prevail is to remove him from office.


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Tom Tillison


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