Speed Reads

Trump Impeachment Watch

Trump presidential transition staffer explains why he now supports impeaching Trump

"Let's start at the end of this story," George Mason University law professor J.W. Verret wrote in The Atlantic on Tuesday. "This weekend, I read Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report twice, and realized that enough was enough." Verret explains that he has "worked on every Republican presidential transition team for the past 10 years," including President Trump's, briefly. He was never a big Trump fan and turned down opportunities to work in his administration, he said, but he was never a Never Trump Republican.

Still, "if you think calling for the impeachment of a sitting Republican president would constitute career suicide for someone like me, you may end up being right," Verret writes. "But I did exactly that this weekend." And he explained why:

I wanted to share my experience transitioning from Trump team member to pragmatist about Trump to advocate for his impeachment, because I think many other Republicans are starting a similar transition. Politics is a team sport, and if you actively work within a political party, there is some expectation that you will follow orders and rally behind the leader, even when you disagree. There is a point, though, at which that expectation turns from a mix of loyalty and pragmatism into something more sinister, a blind devotion that serves to enable criminal conduct. The Mueller report was that tipping point for me, and it should be for Republican and independent voters, and for Republicans in Congress. [Verret, The Atlantic]

On MSNBC Tuesday evening, Verret told a skeptical Chris Matthews that "as the hearings proceed forward, as the American people read the Mueller report from Amazon — it's very popular right now — I think the tide's going to turn ... in favor of impeachment."

"We have seen the top lines debated, we have not seen the nitty-gritty," Verret said. "This is nitty-gritty, soap opera–style details. Give the people time to process. I trust they'll do the right thing."