As President Trump’s continues to face impeachment, he’ll be looking to Senate Republicans to protect his presidency. While there are rumors of disagreement among Republicans in the upper chamber, one notable GOP senator has voiced support for the president. On Monday, Cockburn stopped by Mike Lee’s speech at the George Washington University Law School, in which the Utah senator dismissed calls for removing the president from office.
Speaking to a room of besuited law students, Lee said the president ‘hasn’t done anything even remotely impeachable.’ Rather than seeking dirt on a political opponent during his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the president was pursuing a justified investigation into Ukrainian energy company Burisma, the senator said, declaring that ‘President Trump succeeded where the Obama administration had tried but failed to bring about an investigation.’
Lee’s comments are in stark contrast with those of fellow Utah senator Mitt Romney, who is keeping an ‘open mind’ in the event of an impeachment trial. Earlier this month, Romney said Trump’s ‘brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.’
Cockburn suspects Lee’s support for Trump is motivated by a shared distaste for Washington bureaucrats. During his speech, Lee said, ‘We’ve taken power away from the American people in two steps’: ‘from the people to Washington, DC,’ and ‘from the people’s elected lawmakers to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.’
While he stopped short of decrying the ‘deep state’, Lee said the concentration of power benefits the ‘elites’ while ‘poor middle-class America pays for the cost of regulatory compliance to the tune of about $2 trillion a year.’
Framing this as a ‘populist issue’, Lee warned that bureaucrats in the executive branch are unaccountable to voters and don’t have their interests in mind.
These comments should gratify Trump, who blames rogue government staffers for spurring the impeachment inquiry. Next time, Cockburn thinks Lee might be better served by appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight than at GW Law.