Many Americans are hoping that this November’s midterm elections will result in what is being called a ‘Blue Wave’ that would sweep into power so many Democrats in Congress that they would take back control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Some people think that the biggest impact of Democratic control would be impeachment of Donald Trump, but there are actually other things that Democrats could do if they were in charge that could for all practical purposes finish off the Trump presidency while also protecting our democracy.
One example arises from an action taken yesterday by the Senate Judiciary committee. As we reported, “The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to protect Robert Mueller with bipartisan support in what is the biggest warning yet to the Trump to back off of the Special Counsel investigation.”
At first glance one might think that this committee action was important, but it really means nothing because the Republicans are in control of the Senate. It was also reported that “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has stated unequivocally that he will not bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.”
But let’s think for a moment how things might be different in January of next year after a new Congress is sworn in. If Chuck Schumer is Senate Majority Leader at that time, and if Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, then they could work together to pass into law a bill like the one that came out of the Judiciary Committee.
Trump while president could do many things to stifle the Russia investigation, and he may still try to do things. They include steps beyond just firing Rosenstein and Mueller. It is possible that he could bury the findings from Mueller’s probe.
The New York Times published a report from two security experts explaining that Mueller has a huge amount of evidence in his files and Trump could do many things to keep this evidence secret (although there are also some things Mueller could do to make the information public).
But if the Democrats control Congress they can make sure that all of Mueller’s evidence is made public because they have the constitutional power to hold their own investigations. Republican-led investigations, such as the one led by Devin Nunes, have gone nowhere. But Democrat-led investigations would be completely different and would provide a platform for all of Mueller’s information to see the light of day. This alone could end the Trump presidency, because Trump can’t fire Congress.
Since the House Republicans stopped their investigation of Russian meddling, they’ve been operating a separate probe attacking the FBI and the Justice Department. They have done everything possible to delegitimize law enforcement on Trump’s behalf. They may have permanently damaged our legal institutions and the rule of law in the process. This would all stop with the Democrats in charge.
There are other important ways that a Democratic Congress could stop Trump. One is that they would not rubber-stamp his appointments to key positions. Trump promised he’d hire “the best people” but in fact he has been stocking the swamp of D.C. with more hideous, corrupt creatures than we’ve every seen before. Democrats would put an end to that.
In addition, Democrats in Congress could bring intense scrutiny of the “seemingly endless ethical transgressions of Trump’s agency chiefs” and of Trump’s own “nonstop self-dealing.” In other words, Democrats would end the kleptocracy that is the very essence of the Trump presidency.
Who knows, a Democratic Congress might even be able to shake loose Trump’s tax returns so we could finally see what all the secrecy is about. They may show Trump to be a tax evader or in bed with the mafia. Whatever would happen, they would probably further take away from Trump’s power and legitimacy as president.
And there is one more way that the Big Blue Wave could end the Trump presidency: It could practically guarantee that Trump would not be re-elected in 2020 (if he survives that long and decides to run again).
If Democrats take back control of the House and Senate next year, there is no question that it would mean the end of the Trump presidency as we know it.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.