“What the impeachment ordeal can tell us about the 2020 election”

I have written this oped for CNN Opinion. It begins:

The United States Senate is poised to acquit President Donald Trump on what will likely be a near party-line vote after a witness-free impeachment trial in which he will be cleared of charges that his solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election and obstruction of the House’s investigation justified his removal from office.

RicBut while the impeachment and trial will soon be behind us, the behavior of Senate and House Republicans have increased the chances of an election meltdown in November.Think about what happened this week with Democrats’ inability to run a successful Iowa caucus system, and conservative activists’ conspiracy theories that immediately arose suggesting, without evidence, an attempt to rig the vote.The impeachment ordeal has three key implications for the integrity of the 2020 elections, each one more troubling than the last.

Lesson 1: The President cannot be counted on to deter foreign interference and may even encourage it again.

Lesson 2: Republicans in the Senate can be expected to back up Trump lies about 2020 election results.….

Lesson 3: The country is seriously polarized and facts themselves are up for grabs.

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