The Corner

Politics & Policy

After Winning the House, Democrats Might Pick an Impeachment Fight

(Leah Millis/Reuters)

As of this moment, the best estimates for Democratic control of the House indicate a 23-seat majority, 229-206. That’s not huge, but it’s comfortable enough — especially when combined with Democratic exuberance over this new thing called the “House popular vote” — that Democrats will likely feel triumphant. They may even feel as if the “arc of history” is reasserting itself, and they’re building a new governing majority.

As much as they emphasize policy tonight, in the real world that means two things that bear directly on potential impeachment — an aggressive effort to (among other things) investigate President Trump’s finances and an aggressive response to Robert Mueller’s findings (whatever they may be.)

It is difficult to imagine a Democratic House resisting progressive demands for impeachment if Mueller’s report is anything other than an exoneration of Donald Trump. If Mueller comes forward with evidence of obstruction of justice, will Democrats stand down? Will they stand down if there’s any evidence of collusion? But that’s only one factor. As my esteemed colleague Andy McCarthy notes, the Democrats will now possess the subpoena power in the House, and they’ll no doubt use it aggressively to pursue a number of inquiries, including into Trump’s finances. The administration will resist, aggressively, and the ensuing legal battles are going to create their own political dynamics. It could well be that Trump defiance triggers greater Democratic fury — and thus triggers greater appetite for the ultimate confrontation between the legislative and executive branches.

While conservatives have much reason to be encouraged by the Senate results, the bottom line is that the balance of power has shifted tonight, and now the Democrats decisively control one half of one branch of government, a part of the government with considerable power. Don’t be surprised if they use it as aggressively as they can against Donald Trump. Impeachment may not be probable, but it is quite possible. Prepare yourself for partisan confrontations that exceed anything we’ve seen during the first two years of the Trump presidency. The battle of Trump versus the media will pale in comparison to the battle of Trump versus an energized, confident Democratic House.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More
Politics & Policy

On Painting Air Force One

And so it has come to this. Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled. And Congress is asking: “Can I get the icon in ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More