President Donald Trump does not need a so-called “war room” to lead the fight against impeachment, according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Creation of a war room to focus on impeachment was a strategy used by former President Bill Clinton during the impeachment process that he faced following his affair with a White House intern.
The idea was that Clinton would not appear to be distracted by impeachment, and could still govern.
Names from the past, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon and one-time Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski have been floated in the media as possibly making a return to lead the fight against impeachment.
But Conway said despite this week’s efforts by House Democrats to put what they call an impeachment inquiry into high gear, it is way too soon to bring in the cavalry.
“You’re getting that from people who want to create an impeachment war room to get back in or get through the door in the front place,” she told reporters Friday, according to the Washington Examiner.
She also said the White House already has someone who has spent his professional life dealing with crises and has successfully battled political opposition throughout his candidacy and presidency.
“Why would he do that?” Conway said of Trump, referring to the possibility of the president creating an impeachment “war room.”
“He’s the most battle-tested person I’ve ever met,” she said.
“No war room is being set up,” Jay Sekulow, a personal attorney for Trump, told CNN.
Quoting sources it did not name, CNN reported there is resistance inside the White House to bringing in Lewandowski, who said he always stands ready to help Trump.
“As I have done for the last five years, I will continue to serve the president in any capacity he thinks I can be most helpful. However, I have not spoken directly to the president about leading an effort to push back on the fake impeachment narrative,” Lewandowski told CNN.
Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation expert, said the battle for the loyalty of the American people is just as important in any impeachment case as the merits of a legal argument.
“It’s also a PR battle because as the Clinton case shows, even when a president has been proven to have actually broken the law, the American people are not going to want a president impeached and an election overturned unless they think the conduct was serious enough to warrant it,” he told the Examiner.
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Democrats’ rush to impeach Trump has bolstered GOP loyalty to the president.
“I took a long walk around the [House] floor tonight, talking to dozens of members, and I haven’t seen this level of intensity of support for the president since the 2016 campaign,” Meadows told The Washington Post.
“We’re with him and ready to go,” Meadows added.
The legal process of impeachment requires the House to approve articles of impeachment against a president.
That requires a majority vote of the Democrat-dominated House.
The Senate would then hold a trial on the charges.
The prevailing wisdom is that because the Senate has a GOP majority, Trump would be acquitted in the upper chamber of Congress.
However, as Politico reported, there is speculation abroad that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might not rush to hold the trial, so that the 2020 election decides whether Trump stays or goes.
“You’re going to start hearing that argument and much more loudly, because we’re not too far away from the moment when voters start voting,” Michael Steel, a former aide to ex-House Speaker John Boehner, told Politico.
“You’ve got to make the case why it matters and why it rises to the level of removing an elected president of the United States from the White House.”
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