The Democratic Party's top opposition research firm is blasting out a memo in anticipation of Robert Mueller's testimony, pleading with the party not to fall into the trap of thinking that they should move on to other topics because they pay off better politically.
“While it remains highly unlikely that the investigation will have an outsized electoral impact in 2020, the reality is this: every moment Americans are consuming information about the president’s corruption, his ties to a hostile foreign entity that tampered with the 2016 election, and crimes committed by members of his inner circle is a net positive for progressives. Failing to amplify these controversies would be malpractice,” reads the memo, written by Jeb Fain, the Trump War Room Communications Director for American Bridge on Tuesday.
The memo from Bridge is the latest volley in a long-running debate within Democratic politics over just how central a role Mueller and his probe into Russia’s 2016 election interference should play in their political messaging.
Members of the Democratic party who are reticent to begin impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump have maintained that their focus should remain on issues like health care, climate change and soaring inequality which they assume will motivate more voters in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. They point to the success of the 2018 midterm elections as proof of their theory.
But Mueller’s investigation and the publication of his findings have dominated much of the national conversation—including a huge chunk of the media coverage of the inter-party squabbles. With the former Special Counsel finally scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday, Bridge is making the argument that the party should unabashedly lean into the proceedings.
The group is going to be doing its part in the matter. According to the memo, Bridge will amplify the hearings by clipping and blasting out critical moments, dipping into its opposition research archives on Trump’s ties to Russia and “further putting members of Congress on defense for turning a blind eye to Trump’s scandals.” It also will be promoting search ads to users seeking information about Trump, Russia, and Mueller.
Fain, and other progressives more eager to create a damning indictment of this presidency, don’t see their work as being at odds with a broader palate of issues that has dominated the Democratic presidential primary thus far. Rather, the memo argues it is incumbent on Democrats to use the Mueller hearing to help build a broader case to the American public about Trump’s conduct.
“I think there’s mostly agreement that health care is and will continue to be the top issue over the next year for most Americans and best long-term focus for progressives,” Fain told The Daily Beast. “But that doesn’t minimize the significance of tomorrow’s hearings and the Russia scandal more broadly not only as historical or moral matters, but also as a critical opportunity to continue driving a necessary, and very accurate, narrative about this administration’s corruption and criminality.”