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(15,923 posts)
Tue Sep 24, 2019, 08:07 PM Sep 2019

The Winners and Losers of the Latest Trump Scandal

Only 11 days have passed since Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed that the Trump administration was illegally withholding a whistle-blower complaint from Congress. When the news came out, I — probably like most observers — expected it to be another fizzle, yet another clear example of Trump malfeasance that would just fail to catch fire with Congress or the public.

And that may yet happen. I presume and hope that pollsters are at work as we speak, trying to gauge public opinion on the scandal. But this time feels different, maybe because it’s so simple and clear cut. The president of the United States and his personal lawyer both admit that they called on a foreign regime to produce dirt on one of his political rivals. It now looks as if he tried to pressure said foreign regime by withholding crucial military aid, which makes it worse.

The result is that this scandal is blowing up in a way previous Trump scandals, no matter how serious, haven’t. A House vote to impeach has quickly gone from “unlikely” to “more likely than not” now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to announce a formal impeachment inquiry.

Why does this matter? In general, I dislike the common journalistic trope of “winners and losers” from political developments. In this case, however, it seems to me like a good way to sum up the fallout so far. So here are three winners and two losers from the developments so far.


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