Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen speculated that Senate Republicans’ desire for a “lengthy impeachment trial” could be strategic in nature, an event that could galvanize the GOP base, just as the hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh did in 2018.
“If you want a sign of how this is going in the Republicans’ favor,” Thiessen said during a Thursday afternoon panel discussion on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier.” “A few weeks ago, the Senate Republicans are talking about how we are going to have a quick trial, might even have a motion to dismiss right away. [The] Washington Post is reporting out that some Senate Republicans are talking about a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race.”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday:
Some Republican senators and their advisers are privately discussing whether to pressure GOP leaders to stage a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race — potentially keeping six contenders in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer.
“Nobody would be talking like that if they thought this was bad for them,” Thiessen added.
“That has Mitch McConnell written all over it,” Baier replied.
“I think Republican’s are starting to see that the impeachment is to 2020 what the Kavanaugh hearings were to 2018 for the Senate,” said Thiessen. “This could help them hold the Senate just because it’s gonna energize their base and it could even help them win the White House.” (RELATED: McConnell Says Kavanaugh Opposition Is Energizing The Republican Base)
While Democrats regained the House of Representatives in 2018, Republicans’ ability to increase their then-slim hold on the Senate from 51 to 53 senators was seen as a bright spot in an otherwise difficult election for the GOP. Democrats cemented several congressional wins in purple and blue-leaning districts previously held by Republicans, but Democrats Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Donnelly lost their Senate seats in red states Missouri, North Dakota, and Indiana.