Making the impeachment of a president of an opposing party central to your campaign is always a risky gambit. Lately, pundits and experts have appropriately argued that Democrats should hold off on impeachment fever until more evidence presents itself.
On Tuesday, the alarm bell sounded. Everything changed.
In Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas, he said point-blank not only that he committed a felony to influence the 2016 presidential election, but that he carried it out at the direction of Donald Trump.
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley pointed out on Wednesday, “What Donald Trump and Michael Cohen did was highly illegal. Trump directed Cohen to pay hush money to women that he had affairs with just before the 2016 election, and they used illegal methods to conceal the payments so that they would not be reported as campaign contributions.”
In an interview set to air on Thursday, Trump acknowledged that, yes, he was involved in the crime and the illegal payments to Cohen came directly from him.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 22, 2018
Not only should Democrats spend each day between now and the Nov. 6 elections reminding the country that the president conspired to commit a crime during the 2016 election, but they absolutely need to make impeachment part of their campaigns.
As former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau said on Wednesday, this is the answer Democrats should give when asked if impeachment is on the table: “Yes, obviously. The President of the United States has been implicated in a felony. Impeachment proceedings should have started already.”
And for Democrats who are asked whether they’d begin impeachment proceedings if they take back the House, the answer is “Yes, obviously. The President of the United States has been implicated in a felony. Impeachment proceedings should have started already.”
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) August 22, 2018
Let Republicans be the party that ignores Trump’s crimes
To be sure, there are plenty of other important issues to address during the campaign, and Democrats shouldn’t stop talking about them.
Too many American workers haven’t had a raise in too long. Millions of folks are seeing their health care – if they even have it – undercut by the Trump administration. Environmental protections are under siege. America’s image abroad has been torn to shreds.
But the abundance of other issues shouldn’t convince Democrats to ignore federal crimes committed by a President of the United States. If they don’t think it’s an important issue to voters, then it’s time for them to start making it one.
If Republicans want to be the party that refuses to hold Donald Trump accountable for conspiring to commit felonies, that’s their decision. But Democrats can and must do better.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.