As the impeachment inquiry continues on and is constantly bringing in new information, many congressional Democrats are starting to worry, especially senators up for re-election in red states. The fear is that the process will backfire, causing issues of great importance in their state to get lost or forgotten in all the drama, or, worse yet, put these lawmakers out of a job.
Democrat Senator Jon Tester of the very red state of Montana says, “It’s really incumbent on the House to really be laser-focused. The president is a master of pivoting and deflecting and I think it’s really important to stay focused.” He, like several other Democratic senators, think that to achieve this, the impeachment inquiry should focus strictly on the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to a CIA officer’s second-hand whistleblower complaint, the president abused his power by threatening to delay nearly $400 million in US military aid to the nation of Ukraine unless they agreed to open an investigation into former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
As is typical with mainstream media of the day, many news outlets have immediately sided with their liberal backers, saying that Trump did, in fact, do this.
However, a transcript of the call was released last week, and it didn’t support those claims at all. According to the transcript, there was nothing even remotely akin to a threat, and the Ukrainian president has confirmed that even to the UN.
Furthermore, it has been found that while military aid was in fact delayed to the Ukrainian government, this was a decision made long before the phone call took place because of an investigation by the Trump administration into possible corruption with the Ukrainian government. And the foreign government was not even made aware of the delay in military funding until nearly a month later. So either no threat was made, or Trump did a poor job of making his intentions known, which is unlikely considering the man’s business acumen. Plus, records show that there is not nor ever was an open investigation into Hunter Biden for any reason.
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin agrees with Senator Tester saying, “I think it’s much better if it’s going to be focused because there’s a whole load of hay out there that they’ve been talking about for so long.”
But it seems that both Tester and Manchin’s warnings will fall on deaf ears, as many Democrats and the House and Senate think that the investigation should be much broader and include findings from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as well as accusations that Trump’s businesses are benefiting from his presidential office.
If this happens, Democrat Senators, such as Doug Jones of Alabama, who is also up for re-election next year, fears that the impeachment inquiry and trials will overshadow crucial issues such as negotiations on trade with Mexico and Canada or an authorization bill for multi-year highway construction. Jones says, “Obviously we need to get to the bottom of all this quickly. I want it to come to a head as quickly as possible. I think the American people deserve it to be resolved one way or another.”
Jones went on to say that the US, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA) trade deal is critical and that his state, as well as most others, would benefit from it. But it is now in jeopardy pending the outcome of the impeachment fight. He says, “I think there’s a lot of things that may get lost in the shuffle of this. You’re obviously worried that you’ll get consumed, but at the same time the Senate has not had a good track record this year legislating.”
And at the same time, he and others, like Tester and Manchin, are all up for re-election in red states where Trump has already proved himself to be capable of winning. In 2016, Trump won in Jones’ state of Alabama by about 30 points. So it only makes sense that Democratic senators such as himself would be nervous about the prospects of winning, mainly since issues of importance to the people of his state, such as the USMCA trade deal and local construction, may get passed over because of the Democrat’s obsession with impeachment.
As one senator with wishes to stay anonymous said, “the stakes go up for both sides at this point,” according to the Hill.