The New York Times reported Tuesday evening: “A One-Two Punch Puts Trump Back on His Heels.”
The conviction Tuesday afternoon of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort (on charges unrelated to the campaign), plus the simultaneous guilty plea by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to charges that included campaign finance violations, sent the media and the political world into a frenzy.
But ironically, Trump and the Republicans could end up being the winners.
Cohen told the court he broke campaign finance laws at Trump’s request. Trump’s lawyers deny it. Regardless, Trump is unlikely to be in any legal jeopardy.
As even the Washington Post acknowledged on Tuesday evening, “The assertion by President Trump’s former lawyer that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of then-candidate Trump could spark calls for impeachment hearings — but probably will not have any legal consequences for the president while he is in office, according to legal analysts.”
However, the Post noted that Cohen’s guilty plea could force Democrats to promise their voters they will impeach Trump if they win the midterm elections in November. It is simply too tempting a prospect to decline.
Billionaire Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer renewed his call for Trump’s impeachment Tuesday, and liberal pundits were all but predicting it. Even Democrats who were previously reluctant to consider impeachment, at least publicly, will be unable to resist the pressures from their party’s base.
That means impeachment is on the ballot in November. Indeed, it may become the only issue.
Democrats cannot run against the economy, and their plans to run on health care may sputter, given the slow rate of Obamacare premium increases for 2019.
They cannot run against his performance, so they will, as in 2016, run against his personality. And impeachment is the perfect vehicle.
Republicans privately fretted about their voter base becoming complacent. Tuesday’s events may provide the needed jolt.
If Trump is impeached, he could be removed from office. And that means giving up all the extraordinary gains conservatives have won over the past 18 months — the tax cuts, the regulatory rollback, the judicial appointments, the manufacturing growth, the border enforcement, the trade fight, the end of the Paris Climate Accords, the end of the Iran deal, the Jerusalem embassy — all of it.
So the conviction of Paul Manafort, and the guilty plea of Michael Cohen, could actually benefit Trump and the Republicans. The indictment of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) — also announced Tuesday — was the only real setback, one more vulnerable seat the GOP must suddenly defend.
The Democrats and the media simply cannot resist the impeachment bait. And in taking it, they will have re-created the circumstances of the 2016 election, when conservatives faced a do-or-die situation, a “Flight 93 election.”
The madness of the “Resistance,” the prospect of Speaker Pelosi, and now the threat of impeachment may inspire Trump’s voters, once again, to save the country as they know it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.