Trump’s stonewalling of any House-led inquiry into his behavior is clearly an attempt to goad House Dems into impeaching him — an issue he sees as a winner with his base. He’s a lot rather go into the 2020 election ginning up the crazies at his rallies with conspiracy theories about the deep state trying to rip the presidency from him than talk about his meager accomplishments and the constant corruption in his administration.
Speaker Pelosi is still right that there’s no groundswell of public support for impeachment, no Republicans other than Justin Amash on board, and that Dems won the House in 2018 by talking about the issues, not about Trump’s behavior.
The counter argument is that Trump has always overshot the mark with his risky behavior, needing to be bailed out by his father, Deutsche Bank, the NJ state legislature who overlooked his mob connections to get casinos built in Atlantic City, and others. There’s plenty to suggest that he’s overshooting the mark here in terms of his dare to the Dems, and that there’s a lot of meat on the bone for impeachment hearings. The other argument is that there was not much public support for impeaching Nixon either; that support was built through the daily televised hearings. Even when Nixon resigned, something like 35% of Republicans still supported him.
Nixon did resign, and Trump never would. He’d take the country down in flames first. And there are no Barry Goldwater Republicans now in elected office to hold Trump to account.
Still a tricky call, and still Speaker Pelosi’s to make.