House Budget Chairman: If Mueller’s Testimony Goes as Expected, Trump Will Be Impeached
While I am obviously biased, there are no more interesting political interviews than when Democratic House Budget Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth appears on one of my podcasts. Though antipathy towards President Donald Trump is about all we agree on philosophically, since we have been friends for about seventeen years, our interviews create a rare environment where two people at opposite ends of the political spectrum can have an honest, frank, and informed discussion.
The latest example of this occurred yesterday — and there was obviously plenty to talk about. Much of the conversation centered and the issue of Trump’s potential impeachment, a subject on which Yarmuth has publicly acknowledged my vigorous lobbying transformed him from being generally against it, to being one of the most outspoken leaders of the pro-impeachment movement.
Ironically, and seemingly much to Yarmuth’s surprise, some of our discussion sounded like I was now trying to make the case against Trump’s impeachment because I am becoming high doubtful, thanks to Democratic screw-ups, that it will ever actually happen. Not because Trump’s impeachment isn’t warranted by the facts, but because the extraordinary and inexplicable delay between when the key events took place, and when Robert Mueller is finally just going to testify, discredit the notion that voting to remove Trump from office is somehow a national imperative.
The entire 50-minute conversation if jam-packed with noteworthy moments. Here are some of the highlights:
- Yarmuth discussed why he was recently “burnt out” on politics, and the surprising place he went to detox from the realities of Washington, D.C. in the era of Donald Trump.
- Yarmuth admitted that “nobody knows how to handle” the apparent divide between the “old guard” within the Democratic congressional caucus and “the squad” made up of four very popular progressive young women.
- He agreed with my assessment of that recent controversy as being caused by a divide between the “old guard” which sees experience as a legislator’s primary currency, while the “the squad” is living in a new media world where one’s celebrity is what determines your value as a member of Congress.
- After reading the Mueller report he concluded that case against Trump for obstructing justice is so overwhelming that “it isn’t even a close call.”
- When challenged over whether it was too late to impeach Trump, Yarmuth predicted that if Mueller’s congressional testimony — now scheduled for next week — goes as expected, that more than half of the Democratic caucus will come out in favor of Trump’s impeachment and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will allow those proceedings to begin.
- When I asked him why Pelosi, who I think may be just playing a political game on this subject, doesn’t want to see Trump impeached, he countered that he thinks that she actually does, but that she is simply waiting for the process to play out. When challenged on the timing issue, he did admit that perhaps, in retrospect, it might have been a better play politically to begin impeachment as soon Democrats took the House.
- Yarmuth wholeheartedly agreed with my strongly-held opinion that there is “no question” Joe Biden is the most electable Democrat against Trump and that he is “head and shoulders” above the other major candidates in that regard. He also agreed that there are, at most, only five people who can win his party’s presidential nomination.
- He weighed in on his state’s big U.S. Senate race for 2020 with some candid criticism of Democratic candidate Amy McGrath’s troubled opening week in her bid to upset Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
- As the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he also laid out how the next round of negotiations over the debt ceiling, which will be breeched sooner than had been expected, will likely soon go down.
I disagree with some of Yarmuth’s rather rosy assessments of where things are headed (he openly concedes that is far more optimistic than I am on such matters, and is often wrong), but our exchanges about them are definitely worth listening to. Here are the two links where the full interview can be heard.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.