I Think Democrats Made a Serious Mistake by Not Including Emoluments

To their credit, the Democratic managers of the impeachment hearings have shown an uncharacteristic willingness to speak forcefully and bluntly, and without hesitation. They have presented a compelling argument about the Ukraine scandal. But it won’t be enough–not that the fix wasn’t in from the get-go. The Republican-controlled Senate was never going to impeach Trump, but Republicans could have been embarrassed enough by impeachment hearings to the point where the failure to impeach was a political liability.

As good as a job as Democrats have done, Republicans, in conjunction with Fox News and other parts of the conservative Puke Funnel, will be able to spin up a countervailing conspiracy theory (e.g., Crowdstrike) to muddy things up. But if Democrats had included emoluments, it would have been much harder to go Full Metal Alex Jones. Republicans would have been put in the absurd and untenable position of defending brazen self-dealing, without being able to offer any bogus national security ‘explanations.’ Democrats wouldn’t have even had to do any of the work, since multiple Attorneys General had already filed an emoluments law suit in court. They could have pulled some of the easy-to-prove, juicy parts from that brief and included them.

I could guess as to why Democrats didn’t do this* (and Rep. Richard Neal should lose his primary over this), but, regardless, the failure to include emoluments was a huge mistake.

*Pelosi, in part, ‘gets’ the Ukraine scandal because she’s not only a member of the ‘Gang of Eight’, but she was the head of the House Intelligence committee. At a visceral level, I’m not sure she was angered by the corruption in the same way. Had she been, she would have leaned much harder on Rep. Neal to do his fucking job.

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