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Opinion | Republicans know Trump did it. They’re too cowardly to punish him

President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

This impeachment is a sham! 

That was the Republican tagline when this all started. You heard it all over this state. None of “that stuff” was true. Trump was innocent. The phone call with the Ukrainian president was “perfect.” 

Nothing to see here. Just Democrats making stuff up and the fake news media helping them spin it. 

The whistleblower was working with Rep. Adam Schiff and the Democrats to frame an innocent man, and they even managed to suck a Purple Heart recipient into the scheme — probably because that guy’s a “never-Trumper” who’s only using his military uniform and lifelong service as a disguise to push a political agenda against Trump. 

It’s all fake. All phony. All lies. 

The real story was that Trump was seriously investigating corruption in Ukraine before he turned over our tax dollars. There was no disputing that. No way would a guy who has been caught cheating a children’s cancer charity and running a fake university be using the investigation of a political rival as an advantage in an upcoming election. 

He was taking it super serious. And we knew that to be the case because to get to the bottom of the Ukrainian corruption, he bypassed the CIA, NSA, FBI, Congress and DOJ and went straight to the best — Rudy and the two guys who broke into Kevin’s house in “Home Alone.” 

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Trump is a corruption fighter! Dems have gone crazy! 

Remember when that was the story? All the way back like two weeks ago? 

Trump had done nothing wrong. The phone call was perfect. The corruption investigation was real. Nothing to see here. 

And then, poof. 

John Bolton’s book excerpts landed on the front page of the New York Times. At the same time Schiff and the House managers were laying bare the basic facts and presenting an air-tight case of abuse of power and obstruction. 

And overnight, the tagline changed. 

From: “He didn’t do it!” 

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To: “OK, he did it, but is this stuff even, like, reeeallllyyyy a crime?”

But don’t take my word for it. 

“If you have eight witnesses who say someone left the scene of an accident, why do you need nine? I mean, the question for me was: Do I need more evidence to conclude that the president did what he did? And I concluded no,” said Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

“I believe that some of the president’s actions in this case – including asking a foreign country to investigate a potential political opponent and the delay of aid to Ukraine – were wrong and inappropriate. But I do not believe that the president’s actions rise to the level of removing a duly-elected president from office,” said Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

I don’t think anything (Bolton) says changes the facts. I think people kind of know what the fact pattern is. There’s already that evidence on the record,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune.

Months ago, before the House impeachment proceedings even began, I wrote that Republicans would soon have a choice to make: To impeach Trump for soliciting a foreign leader’s interference in an American election or deciding that you’re OK with that. 

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To my astonishment — and hopefully to the astonishment and outrage of most Americans — they have done the latter. 

And we all know why — votes and money. 

There are no other reasons. These people don’t actually believe that what Trump did isn’t worth booting a president out of office. For the love of God, the man tried to bribe a foreign leader with aid money. That’s a gots-to-go situation. Every single time. 

But they wilt like flowers in the face of removal, because doing so might anger the voters they’ve spent their entire careers dumbing down to the point that they believe a billionaire from New York has the best interest of rural farmers at heart.

Plus, Trump might say mean things about them on Twitter. 

And God help those poor GOP congressmen if the voters turned on them for doing what’s right for the country and they were forced to go out and get a real job. 

So, here we are. 

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For the past few weeks, as this impeachment investigation and trial have moved along, there have been constant references to the Founding Fathers of the country. The “Republic if you can keep it” line has been used at least twice by every member of Congress. And everyone seems to know what the guys who founded this country would have thought about all this. 

Well, I don’t know. Those guys had their own issues. But I do think it’s safe to say that that group of men — who had just fought and miraculously won a war against all odds, and did so simply because it was the right thing to do — had one fatal flaw, one blind spot when building our system of government and putting in place the checks and balances that make it all work. 

They never factored in that a group of cowards might one day seize control of one house.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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