As the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump rapidly unfolds in Washington, the president is venting his frustration at campaign rallies where his attacks on House Democrats and the media are serving to further energize his supporters.
Trump, facing impeachment over allegations he improperly used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political enemies, is rousing his devotees on the road rather than hunkering down at home. He has derided the accusations as a "witch hunt."
While Trump has faced intense criticism in Washington over the Ukraine scandal and his abrupt pullout of U.S. troops from Syria, he has reveled in the rock-star reception he has received at rallies thousands of miles away in Minneapolis and Dallas.
Supporters echo the president's attacks on impeachment, House Democrats and what Trump calls the "swamp" of Washington, D.C. Like the president, they view impeachment as an illegitimate effort to take him down and defend his phone call with Ukraine's president in which he pushed for an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, a top political rival. Impeachment, many said, will wind up re-electing Trump in 2020.
James Wilson, 47, a payroll manager in Rowlett who grabbed a front-row seat at Trump's rally in the Dallas sports arena Thursday, said impeachment was just another in a long line of attacks including special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
But he likened it to a "boomerang."
"Every time the other side throws something, it comes back and it hits them," Wilson said.
It will never stop, he said.
"The Democrats don't want him in," Wilson said. "They're going to do everything they can – legally and illegally – to get him out. But they're going to lose in 2020."