For the most part, Republicans in Congress have been supportive of President Donald Trump rather than worried over recent revelations from a whistleblower, who claims the commander-in-chief tried to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating Trump’s political foe and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden.
One Republican senator, Mitt Romney, spoke with reporters last week about a memo that was released by the administration detailing the conversation between the two leaders. While he stopped short of saying he was supportive of an impeachment inquiry in the House, Romney did state that he found the readout to be “troubling to the extreme.”
“It’s deeply troubling,” Romney emphasized in his remarks.
However, Romney’s tempered statement is a rarity within his caucus. In spite of many currently serving Republicans not voicing dismay with Trump’s alleged wrongdoing, a former senator spoke out on Monday, urging his former colleagues to search their consciences, and at the very least agree that Trump shouldn’t serve another term in office.
Jeff Flake: Fellow Republicans, there’s still time to save your souls – The Washington Post https://t.co/fSJ5JUAmcc
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 30, 2019
Writing an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) recounted how he “had seen too much” while serving as a senator, and how what he witnessed made it impossible to support the president with a blank check as a Republican.
“Traveling overseas I witnessed the damage being done to our standing in the world as a result of President Trump’s fondness for authoritarians and his scorn for allies,” Flake explained in his missive to his former colleagues.
“His hostility toward security alliances and trade agreements had placed our long-term security and our economy at risk. His adoption of the tyrant’s phrase ‘enemy of the people’ put journalists in even greater peril, all over the world. His resentment toward refugees and profane description of certain countries were destroying generations of goodwill.”
Flake called Trump’s actions worthy of impeachment, but added that he personally worries “an impeachment proceeding at such a toxic moment might actually benefit a president who thrives on chaos.”
But whether Republicans in the Senate support an indictment of the president or not, following a possible impeachment in the House, members of his party, he said, should not support Trump in 2020.
“My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. Whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve reelection,” Flake wrote.
Flake, who often spoke out against Trump while he was in office but decided against running for another term as senator due to primary challenges he’d face from more pro-Trump Republican candidates, concluded his piece by reminding his former colleagues that it would be better to risk their political careers than to support Trump again.
“Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job,” Flake wrote. “But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”