WASHINGTON, DC, USA – President Donald Trump leaves Washington for a rally with supporters and a Thanksgiving break at his Florida home on Tuesday, November 26, but impeachment storm clouds threaten to spoil the party.
Before boarding Air Force One, the president will act out the quirky annual ritual of pardoning two enormous turkeys, sparing them from the national day of feasting on Thursday.
Politics watchers, however, will be less interested in the fates of the flightless birds, named Bread and Butter, than the perilous legal challenges facing Trump and his entourage as Democrats ready to prepare articles of impeachment soon after the Thanksgiving break.
In keeping with his favored response to moments of crisis, Trump will hold a rally later Tuesday in Sunrise, Florida, giving him a chance to get away from Washington politics and to reconnect to his right-wing voter base.
The state is a key piece in the electoral puzzle for the 2020 presidential election and recently became Trump’s legal home, after he announced he was switching residence from his native New York.
Illustrating the tightness of the coming battle, Trump’s Sunrise rally arena is located in strongly pro-Democratic Broward county.
Trump can be expected to use the rally with his red-hatted core supporters to emphasize his grip on the Republican party and his readiness for what will likely be the most polarized and bitter presidential election in generations.
Weather forecasts are for balmy temperatures all week at Trump’s golf course and official private residence in Mar-a-Lago, on the Florida Atlantic coast.
But back in chilly Washington, Democrats plan to keep working through the Thanksgiving break on what looks like a fast track to making Trump only the third president ever to be impeached.
Although the Republican-led Senate will then almost certainly acquit him, this is not the way that Trump, who often boasts of being among the most successful US presidents, wants to go down in history.
Investigators said Monday their report on Trump’s alleged abuse of office, when he pushed Ukraine to announce it was probing one of his main 2020 rivals Joe Biden for corruption, could be wrapped up as early as next week.
There was more pressure on the administration late Monday when a Washington appeals court ruled that White House aides cannot continue to dodge subpoenas for testifying before the Democratic-led impeachment panel.
The White House will launch a further appeal, tying up the case, but the ruling, which applies specifically to Trump’s former White House lawyer Don McGhan, raises the temperature.
Trump, though, seems to thrive with his back against the wall.
Portraying himself as a victim, he has frequently said he is the “most unfairly treated” leader in history.
He claims the investigations into his murky relationship with Ukraine and Russia are a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” and almost daily he gives credence to right-wing conspiracy theories that his own US intelligence services have debunked. – Rappler.com