From what I've been hearing, it seems to me that the impeachment proceedings involving President Trump are split completely along party lines. This goes to the extent that while Democrats are saying that Trump committed at least one impeachable offense - Nancy Pelosi said that they have found evidence of bribery, the Republicans are saying that Trump did absolutely nothing wrong. Everything is twisted in ways to fit one of these rhetorics, there seems to be nothing believable.

My question is: Is there any evidence that both parties agree on? Is there anything that happened that everyone agrees was right or that everyone agrees was wrong? Is there anything in these impeachment hearings that is non-partisan or bi-partisan?


4 Answers 4


A big reason is the support and polling that Trump receives among the republican base and the fact that he will attack anyone who is not supporting him strongly enough. He is even going as far as to offer fundraising support for certain senators who are supporting him and supporting opponents of those who do not.


Politico reported that on Wednesday, Trump’s reelection campaign contacted its long email list of donors to ask for contribution that would be divvied up between him and senators Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, and Tom Tillis.

Another reason is that recent elections have gotten rid of moderates on both sides and the parties are less likely to work together on issues, in general, let alone a highly controversial one such as impeachment.

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    Which is what every president has done over the last few decades, so this doesn't explain why it is this partisan this time.
    – Sjoerd
    Nov 15, 2019 at 2:01
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    @Sjoerd Which presidents have face impeachment hearings over the last few decades? If you look at the last time this was happening during the Clinton era it was also very much split along party lines. But that is also ignoring the fact that the president as head of the republican power is going to fight against anyone in the party who does not support him. Because of that you will find few republicans who are willing to cross party lines to go against him and most on the democrat side are looking for checks and balances.
    – Joe W
    Nov 15, 2019 at 2:23
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    Every president has supported fundraising for senators that are supporting him. And refused to endorse those with whom he doesn't agree. Reference: duckduckgo.com/?q=Obama+doesn't+endorse&t=h_&ia=web
    – Sjoerd
    Nov 15, 2019 at 2:58
  • @Sjoerd I would argue that there is between supporting the president's goals and a vote that is directly on the president's future in office.
    – Joe W
    Nov 15, 2019 at 13:45
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    Sort of related, I wrote an answer on polarization, the related question is about measuring this, but the sources listed talk about the increased polarization of US politics over the last 20-30 years, which might help explain working together less on issues like impeachment: politics.stackexchange.com/a/46414/10172
    – BurnsBA
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:04

Three factors play, the first two relatively equally, and the third specific to Donald Trump:

  1. During the Watergate investigation, the Republicans' bipartisanism in the attempted impeachment of Richard Nixon did not translate into political gains, largely because of Republican voters' claims of disloyalty (see factor 2) overcame their desire for fair play and the rule of law. Republican lawmakers struggled for decades in order to figure out the best way to deal with this seeming disconnect in a way that would get them back into voters' good graces. In the Reagan era, they found a way: repealing the 1948 FCC Fairness Doctrine, which required that those companies that owned broadcast licenses must present issues of public interest in objectively honest, equitable and balanced language. By doing so, they decoupled the concept of 'news' from that of 'truth', creating what experts called a 'post-truth society', and hearkening back to the United States' scurrilous pamphlet smear campaigns of the 1800s.

  2. Since the late 80s/early 90s, American politics have been infected by Identity Politics; the concept that someone being a part of your group is more important than them sharing your moral values. By decoupling news and truth (see Factor 1 above), it was no longer a given that the entire country would be equally-educated on a single topic, meaning that people were debating topics from entirely different baselines. This made finding common ground between political parties extremely difficult. So rather than gathering around common issues, the political parties began to gather around group identity. This had the benefit of allowing the political parties to change positions on a wide number of issues without facing the voter blowback they had received during the Watergate investigation.

  3. Donald Trump has run the Republican party like a Mafia boss in that those that publicly disagree with him on any topic end up facing his truly impressive ire, so much so that he campaigns against Republican incumbents. This level of gall has even convinced rank-and-file congressional members to commit crimes in order to gain his favor. While Trump is in office, the Department of Justice has ruled that it will not charge him with a crime, so keeping Trump in office has become a primary concern for those Republicans who would likely be charged in connection with his criminal activity.

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    This level of gall has even convinced rank-and-file congressional members to commit crimes in order to gain his favor. can you give an example of this?
    – JJJ
    Nov 15, 2019 at 18:10
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    @JJforTransparencyandMonica It now appears that Devin Nunes will soon be investigated in light of Lev Parnas' audio recordings of Nunes assisting in the bribery/extortion of Ukraine for political benefit.
    – Carduus
    Dec 5, 2019 at 14:30
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    Well, you know what they say: "Impeachment moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around, you might miss it!" ;)
    – JJJ
    Dec 5, 2019 at 15:24

Is there any evidence that both parties agree on?

  • Ukraine has a problem with corruption
  • There was US pressure on Ukraine to open "investigations"
  • Aid to Ukraine was on hold at one point, but was ultimately released.
  • I think at one point a Republican (Nunes) and Democrat (Peter Welch) both said "The President can fire an ambassador for any reason whatsoever"

There are also what might be called "basic wiki facts" -- who was in office at this time, etc -- that everyone agrees on. I'm not aware of any notable disputes about such facts.

Investigations is in quotes as it was an explicitly vague term mentioned in the hearings on Wednesday (Nov 13, 2019). It generally refers to some kind of investigation into Burisma in the name of anti-corruption, but also investigations related to foreign involvement in the 2016 US elections.

Jim Jordan pointed out several times (Nov 13, 2019) that aid was released when questioning Taylor. For example

I understand. All right. So again, just to recap, you had three meetings with President Zelensky, no linkage in those three meetings came up. Ambassador Zelensky didn’t announce that he was going to do any investigation of the Bidens or Burisma before the aid was released. He didn’t do a tweet, didn’t do anything on CNN. Didn’t do any of that. President Zelensky, excuse me.

(Here linkage refers to linking aid to "investigations", that is, aid being released only if Zelensky makes a public announcement about "investigations").

Schiff later comments

Some have argued in the President’s defense that the aid was ultimately released. That is true. But only after Congress began an investigation. Only after the President’s lawyers learned of a whistleblower complaint. And only after members of Congress began asking uncomfortable questions about quid pro quos.

edit: I didn't realize at the time, but the above links only show context around the timestamp, not the full transcript, so full transcript link here.

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    "Ukraine has a problem with corruption" should be "Ukraine had a problem with corruption". "There was US pressure on Ukraine to open 'investigations'" should be "There was White House/President Trump pressure on Ukraine to open 'investigations'" Nov 15, 2019 at 15:19
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    Also, I think it's disingenuous and partisan of you to post Jim Jordan's argument (at the same time that you're claiming to be posting evidence that "both parties agree on"). The military funds only got released two days after the whistleblower report became public. In other words, they only stopped because they got caught. In the meantime, thousands of people have been killed on the frontline in Ukraine, and Russia even encroached on the Kerch Strait and closed off access to the Sea of Azov (taking Ukrainian sailors hostages and placing them in one of their worst prisons in Moscow). Nov 16, 2019 at 19:06

edit: this answers the title of the question more than the concluding question in the body about what the parties do agree on...

To be fair, from the start of this presidency, a significant proportion of Democrats has repeatedly called for impeachment. Before Mueller came back with his findings. Before the Ukraine thing blew up. In other words, before any serious grounds for impeachment were at hand.

So, it's not too difficult for a Republican to think well, these guys have been crying wolf for 3 years now....

Add to it the level of polarization in the US electorate and it will take a lot to move the needle on committed Republicans. That's most likely going to result in the Senate dismissing charges.

That doesn't mean that the impeachment procedures are frivolous. The US has extensive safeguards in its governmental arrangements to stop a president from embroiling the country with foreign governments on his/her own. It has laws against foreign campaign contributions as well so the idea that a foreign government can affect US elections is clearly legally unwelcome as well.

How a POTUS soliciting a foreign government's help against a domestic political opponent sits with those principles is clearly something that needs to be aired out, along with a determination of whether this did in fact happen or not. Voters who are sitting on the fence can decide in their own conscience what to make of it for the 2020 elections, even if committed Dem/Rep have already made up their mind.

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