In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Friday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that the Republican Party will sew the seeds of its own destruction if party leaders vote to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Paul said the idea behind the impeachment is utterly absurd, especially given that Trump will be out of office by Wednesday.
“I just don’t understand how they can be moving forward with this,” Paul said. “And look, I’m not just saying I’m for everything President Trump has done. I was for seating the electors because I think Congress shouldn’t overturn the state electors. But at the same time, the thing they are doing is an overreaction, and if they think they’re going to have a positive feeling from the public when they’re going to go through a partisan impeachment again, I think that’s absolutely insane and wrongheaded.”
Asked about reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “pleased” with the impeachment, Paul said it was self-destructive for GOP leaders to support this effort.
“They will destroy the Republican Party if leadership is complicit with an impeachment, or if leadership votes for an impeachment, they will destroy the party,” he said. “Look, I didn’t agree with the fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, and if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party.
“A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” Paul continued. “This isn’t about whether it was a right or wrong debate. This isn’t about the Electoral College, it’s about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what? Millions of his fans will leave as well.”
A “third” might actually be an optimistic estimate. We’re talking about a president whose Republican approval numbers are still north of 90%. We’re talking about the guy who the vast majority of Republicans want to be the party’s nominee in 2024. We’re talking about the guy who, according to vast swaths of his supporters, actually won the last election and will remain the rightful, legitimate president even after Biden is sworn in. For Republican leaders to go against this man and vote to bar him from holding office ever again is worse than incompetence; it’s suicide.
Surely Mitch can see that.