Team Trump has already found a way to profit off impeachment
Donald Trump may not have a plan to deal with the legalities of impeachment, but he and his buddies in the right-wing media definitely have a plan to whip up their base with outrage over Trump finally facing some consequences for his actions. And the Trump campaign is raising enough money off that outrage to power some serious ad campaigns for 2020.
The campaign had a video ready and waiting in case of the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry and spent $1 million on Facebook ads in 72 hours last week. The fundraising haul included $8.5 million in two days, and 50,000 new donors to whom Team Trump will go back again and again and again for more money. That’s helping the campaign put $8 million into a national TV ad attacking former Vice President Joe Biden and warning that Democrats are trying to “steal” the 2020 election.
Those messages are being endlessly amplified in right-wing media, where, for instance, Sean Hannity has said that this is “an all hands-on deck moment … This is about our way of life” and has ridiculed the very idea of taking seriously Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on his political rivals, saying, “You have to suspend every bit of God-given intelligence and common sense that you [have] to believe that there is anything to this.”
But most frighteningly, Trump’s allies are aggressively spreading the idea that an impeachment inquiry is a coup. Rush Limbaugh called it a “coordinated coup attempt.” Newt Gingrich—who had former President Bill Clinton impeached over a blow job—called it a “legislative coup d’etat.” That message is coming directly from the Trump campaign, too. It’s a terrifying message, another effort by Team Trump to undermine our democracy by painting a cautious, legal approach to impeachment as an illegitimate overthrow of government—while Trump flirts with the language of civil war. These people would rather endanger American democracy and the rule of law than accept any limits on Trump’s whims.