With the official impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s extortion of Ukraine beginning on Wednesday morning, the Republican strategy to defend Trump’s words and actions is to never, ever mention Trump’s words and actions. Which leaves nonsensical claims of “coup,” and “deep state,” and “subverting the will of the voters.” And if that doesn’t work, Plan B seems to be to try and toss Rudy Giuliani under the bus.
As a Republican member of the impeachment committee tells Axios, “This is not an impeachment of Rudy Giuliani … It’s an impeachment of the president of the United States. So the point is as long as this is a step removed, he’s in good shape.” And according to another Republican, “Rudy will be cut loose because he was rogue.” Okay, great strategy. It was all Rudy’s fault. Except for that tiny detail of the call summary released by the White House, where Trump told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky:
Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you … Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great … I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call … I will tell Rudy … to call.
Yes, a step removed, rogue Rudy, acting on his own … except for the part where Trump is telling him what to do.