- Why isn’t the GOP taking Trump’s conflicts of interest, including possible emoluments clause violations, seriously?
- Why didn’t Candidate X object to the firing of former FBI director James B. Comey?
- Why haven’t the Republicans forced Trump to turn over his tax returns? (A large majority of voters consistently have said Trump should release them.)
- How can we trust Republicans who have defended Trump at every turn to do the right thing if the facts show Trump committed impeachable offenses? (Even stickier, asking Republicans to specify what would be impeachable puts them in a nasty corner. Refuse to answer, and they’ve shown themselves to be flunkies; answer, and they bind themselves to a vote should credible facts come to light.)
- Would Republicans move to impeach if Trump tried to pardon himself and/or family members?
- Why didn’t they demand that Jared Kushner, after his multiple meetings with Russians and failure to report them, lose his security clearance?
This will not be the only issue in the 2018 midterms, but unless Trump is gone or entirely cleared, it will be an awfully significant one. What’s a Republican to do? Simple:
- Take Trump conflicts of interest, including possible emoluments clause violations, seriously and begin hearings.
- Make clear the objection to Comey’s firing and warn that firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III would have dire consequences. (Better yet, promise to pass and rehire him under a new independent prosecutor statute.)
- Pass legislation to require Trump to turn over his tax returns.
- Specify what would be impeachable offenses: firing the special counsel, obstruction of justice (including directing underlings to lie and/or cover up the reason for Comey’s firing), financial wrongdoing, perjury and/or misleading Congress.
- State clearly that the GOP will move to impeach if Trump tries to pardon himself and/or family members.
- Demand that Kushner, after his multiple meetings with Russians and failure to report them, lose his security clearance.
In short, there is no good reason — aside from blind partisan loyalty (and how has that worked out for the GOP?) — not to do these things. If the GOP doesn’t, Democrats have a very strong case in arguing that Republicans have shown themselves unwilling to uphold their constitutional obligations. Put differently, if they keep defending Trump and refusing to address his misconduct head-on, they have no business being in office.