JD Vance’s Convoluted Pitch For Why Republicans Should Just Stop Legislating Until Trump’s President Again

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) listens during a news conference on the U.S. Southern Border at the U.S. Capitol on February 06, 2024 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the news conference ... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) listens during a news conference on the U.S. Southern Border at the U.S. Capitol on February 06, 2024 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the news conference to discuss their lack of support for the bipartisan Senate immigration legislation released over the weekend. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Don’t tempt Donald Trump into getting himself impeached again.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), who is among a handful of Trump allies believed to be vying for a potential Trump 2.0 Veepship, put out a memo Monday that makes several convoluted leaps in logic to pitch his colleagues on why the passage of a foreign aid bill could be harmful to a second Trump presidency.

It’s part of a trend, both ongoing for years and escalating on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as Trump inches closer to the general election — his allies want to halt any legislating that they think might hurt Trump in a second presidency or rob him of Biden-owning opportunities on the campaign trail. The latest example is centered on the bipartisan border bill that Senate Republicans and Democrats recently introduced to address the influx of migrants at the border.

Before the text of the legislation was even made public, Trump privately and publicly called on his friends in the Senate to drop the bill because its passage would be a “gift” to Democrats during a presidential election year in which he would like to use the right-wing hysteria about a “crisis” at the border to slam President Biden.

He got some of his allies in the House, like Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and some in the right-wing media to demonize the legislation and ultimately Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admitted defeat in his vote-whipping efforts. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pushed a vote on the legislation last week, which coupled the doomed border bill with foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The majority leader wanted to get his Republican colleagues to go on record tanking the bipartisan border bill before decoupling it and holding a vote on the foreign aid bill alone.

That aid legislation advanced in the Senate last week with the help of some Republicans and is on track for a vote this week.

That’s where Vance comes in. Vance sent out a memo to Republican colleagues Monday urging them to vote against the legislation. Why? He argues the $95 billion emergency foreign aid spending bill could end up leading to another Trump impeachment if Trump wins the general election in the fall.

His logic is impressive. He argues that Trump was impeached the first time because he implemented a “pause on funds appropriated to Ukraine,” completely omitting the full, actual reason: that Trump threatened to hold up U.S. aid to Ukraine as a quid pro quo to get President Zelensky to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden and President Biden, his political rival.

Vance argues that, bear with me, if Republicans help Democrats pass aid to Ukraine now, Trump could be impeached again if he decides to pause some of that aid as a negotiation tactic to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a hypothetical future where he is president in 2025. Here’s how he’s spelled it out:

President Trump has said, in regard to the war in Ukraine, “We got to get that war settled and I’ll get it settled.” He has stated that he would resolve the war in 24 hours.

The bill includes $1.6 billion for foreign military financing in Ukraine, and $13.7 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. These funds expire on September 30, 2025—nearly a year into the possible second term of President Trump. These are the exact same accounts President Trump was impeached for pausing in December 2019. Every single House Republican voted against this impeachment resolution.

If President Trump were to withdraw from or pause financial support for the war in Ukraine in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion, “over the objections of career experts,” it would amount to the same fake violation of budget law from the first impeachment, under markedly similar facts and circumstances.

Partisan Democrats would seize on the opportunity to impeach him once again.

The pretzel twisting in order to demonstrate fealty to Trump is remarkable, even for someone who’s completely rebranded his public image as a MAGA die-hard.

The Best Of TPM Today

In case you missed it, please take a moment to read the two pieces we published today, the first in a series by my colleague Josh Kovensky reporting new details of the failed coup attempt and, in particular, Trump allies’ theorizing about how they might keep the chaos that unfolded on Jan. 6 going up until inauguration day 2021.

Introduction to the series: Documents Reveal How Trump Lawyers Sought ‘Chaos’ to Force SCOTUS to Anoint Trump

Story one: Docs Obtained by TPM Show Trump Lawyers’ Plan To Make Jan. 6 Last For Days On End

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Jon Alter is Right On Joe Biden — Josh Marshall

What We Are Reading

‘We have to get this done’: A top House Republican pushes for Ukraine aid, stat — Politico

Republicans play cleanup on aisle Trump after former president’s NATO comments — NPR

Donald J. Trump is talking about endorsing Lara Trump for R.N.C. co-chair. — New York Times

Latest Where Things Stand

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for daled daled says:

    Partisan Democrats would seize on the opportunity to impeach him once again.

    So, am I reading this correctly? Vance is conceding that the Democrats will win the house in '24???

  2. Vance and the cult - we will kill your government unless you bow to us and acknowledge the divinity of lord tRump.

  3. Not that we needed any, but JD Vance is more proof that you can get the trash out of the trailer, but not the trailer out the trash.

  4. Trump… publicly called… to drop the bill because its passage would be a “gift” to Democrats during a presidential election year in which he would like to use the right-wing hysteria about a “crisis” at the border to slam President Biden.

    Republicans create unfixable crises.
    Therefore, no Republicans, no crises.

  5. Avatar for noonm noonm says:

    Vance argues that, bear with me, if Republicans help Democrats pass aid to Ukraine now, Trump could be impeached again if he decides to pause some of that aid as a negotiation tactic to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a hypothetical future where he is president in 2025.

    So if Trump engages in impeachable behavior again, he could get impeached?

    I’m pretty sure that’s how it works Mr. Vance.

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