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WASHINGTON—When revelations about President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine first started dribbling into the public in late September and early October, Republicans were caught off guard.
Some members of the GOP criticized Mr. Trump’s request for Ukraine to open investigations that benefited him politically, while others sought to avoid the topic altogether. As many as 20 House Republicans initially were open to supporting Mr. Trump’s impeachment, according to Rep. Pete King (R., N.Y.), a retiring member from a competitive district who quickly made up his mind that Mr. Trump’s conduct wasn’t impeachable.
Senate - Trial - Mr - Trump - Republican
Now, as the GOP-led Senate begins the impeachment trial for Mr. Trump, the Republican Party is in lockstep behind the president of their party. Every House Republican voted against the two articles of impeachment the Senate will consider, with the party even luring a New Jersey Democrat, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, to join their ranks. While a handful of GOP senators have defied the White House’s wishes on whether to allow witnesses in the trial, no Senate Republican has publicly signaled a willingness to remove the president from office.
The unity is the byproduct not only of a White House charm offensive this fall and widespread Republican concerns about the fairness of the impeachment process, but more broadly the president’s personal powers of persuasion and his raw political power over the party, fueled by an intensely loyal base of GOP voters. As has been the case since Mr. Trump ascended to the GOP throne, Republicans who dared step out of line faced his Twitter outrage, meeting the wrath of the president’s base.
Tribalism - Futures - Party - Line - President
The stark tribalism has led those who want long-term futures in the party to get in line behind the president and those who have had enough to retire quietly without risking a noisy and disruptive exit. Twenty-six House Republicans have...
(Excerpt) Read more at: MSN
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