Now that the appearance of former special counsel Robert Mueller before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees has come and gone without the anticipated fanfare, the question is what will happen next for House Democrats under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN earlier this week, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said he hoped that Democrats would move on to other things.
“Hopefully, the Democrats will be turning loose of this now,” he said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “We’ve got a lot of stuff we need to be getting after in this country, and wasting time talking about that Mueller report is not a productive use of anybody’s time anymore.”
However, Rogers said he anticipated his colleagues on the other side of the aisle would try something different to maintain their claim of an “air of corruption” around President Donald Trump.
“I think they’re going to shift gears to his taxes – trying to get more information about his decade or so before he took office with his various tax dealings and try to prove that he is somehow a crook or tax cheat – anything they can to try and keep an air of corruption around him,” he explained. “That’s what they’re after. So I think you’re going to see a pivot take place pretty quick on that.”
“You know, they’ve already been talking about trying to get that,” Rogers continued. “It’s going to become, in my view the center of their activities going forward.”
When asked if the lackluster appearance by Mueller would serve as a reality check for Democrats, Rogers said he was skeptical that would be the case.
“It’s hard to say that there’s a reality check because some of these people are just way out there, as far as their socialism as well as their hatred for the president,” Rogers said. “But you know, and I don’t just mean the members of Congress, but our base just violently opposed the socialist agenda of Barack Obama. But you know, we weren’t this affected by it. No matter what President Trump is for, they’re automatically just against it. They’re violently against it.”
The Alabama Republican pointed to Democratic opposition to Trump administration efforts to secure the border, calling it “Trump derangement syndrome.”
“It’s like this thing with securing the border with fencing,” he continued. “They had never in my tenure, and I have been up here 17 years, had any problem with putting a fence at the border and arguing that it worked. We never had that argument until Trump said he wanted to build the wall and they cannot turn loose of the argument now that ‘walls don’t work,’ ‘they’re a waste,’ ‘they’re racist,’ whatever – where it is objectively provable that everywhere we’ve got a wall, we’ve seen migrant traffic across that area plummet to single digits – usually 1 or 2% can get through. But it is like 95, 98% effective. So, that’s just an example of their Trump derangement syndrome.”
Rogers predicted divisions would continue to haunt the House Democratic Caucus.
“I don’t know that they’re going to be unified about anything,” Rogers added. “You know, they had an impeachment vote last week that went down in flames. But I’m expecting them to bring more impeachment votes. She will let it try to get to the floor, meaning Pelosi, just to try to relieve pressure. But I’m expecting to see them turning on each other next year in the primary season. And this group of socialists – they call themselves ‘The Squad’ – will start going after more moderate Democrats in primaries, trying to grow their ranks. That is when I think their train is going to come off the tracks.”
He went on to say if congressional Democrats pursue impeachment, it would improve the odds for Republicans winning back the House in 2020.
“It would guarantee us getting the House back next cycle,” Rogers said. “Nancy Pelosi knows that. Steny Hoyer knows that. Any of the rational Democrats know it. And they also, the rational ones know that even if they passed articles of impeachment out of the House, the Senate would never take them up, period. People forget that articles of impeachment passed by the House is just an indictment. The Senate then has to have a trial. And if they can get a supermajority of the Senate to agree to remove the president from office, then he would be removed. There is no way with 52 Republicans now that you would get a supermajority of Republicans to remove the president from office, even if the majority leader agreed to take the matter up, which he would not.”
“Pelosi will do all she can to stop an impeachment vote from being successful,” he continued. “But as far as our side, we’re kind of like Br’er Rabbit. Bring it on, and you’ll guarantee us getting the House back.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor