Although they’re in the minority considering the ardent defenses of President Donald Trump coming from Republican members of Congress, even some Republicans are fed up with the president’s incessant corruption. As House Democrats’ impeachment case against Trump continues to pick up steam and roll towards a no doubt soon trial in the Senate, a conservative advocacy group called Republicans for the Rule of Law has launched a tough billboard campaign against the White House, targeting their relentless obstruction of investigations. The electronic displays feature images of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security adviser John Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani with tape over their mouths and asks what Trump has to hide.
Concurrent to demands from the president for complete non-cooperation with Congressional inquiry, each of these witnesses have refused to testify, despite Congressional demands. There have been plenty of other high-profile refusals too, like now former Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Democrats have proceeded with their case against Trump over his plot to get Biden dirt even in the absence of this testimony — although they did include obstruction of Congressional investigation in their articles of impeachment.
Republicans for the Rule of Law spokesman Chris Truax insisted:
‘The president doesn’t own the government and he’s not above the law. He’s merely a caretaker acting on our behalf and when Congress demands an accounting, it’s the President’s duty to comply. President Trump has been given every opportunity to answer the charges against him. He demands friendly witnesses, yet refuses to allow his most loyal supporters to testify. He complains the proceedings are unfair, yet refuses to allow his lawyers to participate in the hearings. If President Trump really could prove he is innocent of the impeachment charges against him, he would have made some effort to do so by now. If the President really does think the facts will exonerate him, why won’t he let those facts come out?’
Indeed – as Truax indicates, despite Trump’s complaints about supposedly unfriendly Congressional investigators, he has largely refused to even try and engage with their processes. At one point, he insisted that he’d fight “all the subpoenas,” and he’s continued that tactic through the impeachment proceedings. That’s not exactly the mark of someone who has nothing to hide!
Republicans for the Rule of Law will be running their billboards in the districts of a dozen vulnerable House Republicans, including Reps. Greg Walden (Ore.), Mac Thornberry (Texas), Fred Upton (Mich.) Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) John Katko (N.Y.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Michael McCaul (Texas), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Paul Mitchell (Mich.), and Francis Rooney (Fla.). Previously, the same organization ran an ad campaign on Fox News highlighting impeachment testimony that had been damaging to the president from figures like top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, both of whom confirmed the president’s quid pro quo plot.
Now, the impeachment case is moving towards the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisted this week that Senate Republicans would coordinate their strategy with the White House. Current White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been reported as the lawyer set to defend Trump during the trial.