Republicans Will Break With Donald Trump if Party Faces Losing 2020 Election, Political Scientist Says: 'It's a Slam Dunk Impeachment'

Only when Republicans believe they are going to lose the White House and both chambers of Congress in the 2020 election will they rescind their support of President Donald Trump, according to an American political scientist.

Dr. Brian Klaas, an assistant professor at University College London in England, described Trump's efforts to get Ukraine and China to open spurious investigations that would damage his Democratic rivals politically at the next election as a "massive conspiracy."

"If this isn't impeachable, nothing is. This is literally what the mechanism of removing a president was designed to prevent," Klaas tweeted, as damning texts released by the House exposed the backroom State Department dealings over the Ukraine investigations.

"Trump hatched a massive conspiracy to extort Ukraine into investigating his opponent using US national security as leverage and then tried to cover it up. Then he did the same thing today, on camera, with China. It's a slam dunk impeachment case for anyone who cares about facts.

"Republicans will likely break with Trump if they suspect they will lose the presidency, the House, and the Senate in 2020. Now would be a very good time to sign-up to volunteer for a campaign; to donate; to register voters; and to protest so that surge of activism is visible."

Klaas, a Washington Post columnist, also tweeted: "Watergate looks like a couple of teenage kids shoplifting a pack of gum in comparison to this scandal...Every day, something that was previously unthinkable becomes routine. And that's how democracies eventually die."

If this isn’t impeachable, nothing is. This is literally what the mechanism of removing a president was designed to prevent.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

Trump hatched a massive conspiracy to extort Ukraine into investigating his opponent using US national security as leverage and then tried to cover it up. Then he did the same thing today, on camera, with China. It’s a slam dunk impeachment case for anyone who cares about facts. https://t.co/m6Hs6JhLfX

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

This “transcript” has to come out too now. This is just the tip of the iceberg. More and more damning evidence is going to come out. This is only the beginning. Republicans should realize it’s going to get much worse and finally break with Trump even if only out of self-interest https://t.co/08oXhorwzQ

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

Watergate looks like a couple of teenage kids shoplifting a pack of gum in comparison to this scandal.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

Republicans will likely break with Trump if they suspect they will lose the presidency, the House, and the Senate in 2020. Now would be a very good time to sign-up to volunteer for a campaign; to donate; to register voters; and to protest so that surge of activism is visible.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

Trump ran his campaign on the idea that his opponent couldn’t be trusted with national security — and then went on to use national security as a bargaining chip to be traded to force multiple foreign governments to investigate his political opponents, and then covered it up.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

Every day, something that was previously unthinkable becomes routine. And that’s how democracies eventually die.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 4, 2019

The State Department texts suggest that at least one senior U.S. diplomat involved in the dealings and a senior aide to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky believed there was a quid pro quo for opening the investigations.

"Are we now saying that security assistance and WH [White House] meeting are conditioned on investigations?" the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, wrote in one text message sent on September 1.

A White House summary of a call between Trump and Zelensky on July 25 shows the U.S. president asking his counterpart for a "favor" and to open the investigations, which are based on a conspiracy theory and dubious corruption allegations about the Biden family.

That call formed part of a complaint filed to the intelligence inspector general by a whistleblower who documented insider accounts of Trump's alleged misconduct towards Ukraine. The complaint also alleges that officials attempted to hide evidence.

House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry into Trump, accusing him of abusing his power by seeking help from a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election. Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination and polls suggest he would beat Trump.

While it is likely that the Democrat-controlled House will eventually vote to impeach Trump, the Senate has a Republican majority and could scupper the attempt to remove the president from office. The Senate would control the impeachment trial and could derail it.

"They [Democrats] spent the last three years harassing this president and I gather we're going to get another chapter of that with the impeachment episode," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told CNBC on Monday, "but we need to find other things that actually make a difference for the American people and try to accomplish as much as we can."

McConnell also implied that a Senate trial of Trump would be short: "I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you're on it is a whole different matter."

Donald Trump Mitch McConnell impeachment Senate trial
Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens while US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before a meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill March 26, 2019, in Washington, DC. Trump is facing impeachment by the House. Brendan Smialowski / AFP