The top political reporter for NBC News, Chuck Todd, went on The Today Show on Wednesday and said that if a “functional Washington” existed then Congress would be “holding investigations into the Trump presidency” and “looking for ways to draw up articles of impeachment.”
Todd also recommended to outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan that he try to leave behind a functional group of Republicans who would “start an investigation” of the president in the House Judiciary Committee.
““I do think Paul Ryan needs to think long & hard about the future of the Republican Party. This is your last chance off this train, and it looks like Manafort & Cohen only have more to say.”
“I do think Paul Ryan needs to think long & hard about the future of the Republican Party. This is your last chance off this train, and it looks like Manafort & Cohen only have more to say.” –@chucktodd pic.twitter.com/szCz9OclEL
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 22, 2018
Talking on TV after the tumultuous events of Tuesday, Todd said:
“You now have a president of the United States accused of committing a federal crime. The way a functional Washington would work is that Congress, there is a process here. The sitting president is accused of a crime. The Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives would begin to look to see if there’s enough evidence to start investigating and drawing up articles of impeachment, but this is not a functional Congress. This is a Congress controlled by Republicans.”
“They would have to do this on their own president. But I have to tell you, I think there is going to be increased political heat and you’re going to have a divided Republican party. Those who are fearing Trump as a drag and those that know that his base is there till the end.”
Speaking of this year’s Congressional midterm elections Todd said there appears to be a “misguided idea by Republicans” that they need to base their campaigns on defending Trump.
Todd then practically begged retiring Speaker Ryan to start up a Trump investigation in the House of Representatives before he leaves office at the end of this year.
“I do think Paul Ryan needs to think long and hard about the future of the Republican Party. This is your last chance off this train, and it looks like Manafort and Cohen only have more to say. Only may cooperate more. This could get worse,” Todd said.
Todd said the House Judiciary Committee is responsible for articles of impeachment, and if Ryan prevailed upon them to proceed drafting such articles, he would be “doing the party a favor.”
“Ryan’s retiring. I think he could actually do the party a favor and just start the procedure in the House Judiciary Committee to give some home, to give some place for Republicans getting nervous to say, ‘Hey, you know what, let’s start an investigation and we’ll go from there.”
Chuck Todd had some good advice for Republicans this morning, but he is talking from an ivory tower that is protected from the realities of politics. In the real world the rabid Republican supporters of Trump would never allow their representatives in Congress to even admit Trump did anything wrong, let alone start impeachment proceedings.
What Todd gets right, and what Paul Ryan probably knows, is that by enabling and defending a criminal president the Republican Party is on the road to disaster.