After more than three years of promising to find a reason to impeach President Trump, Democrats finally achieved their objective on December 18, 2019. The next constitutionally required step was simple and easy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to send the Article over to the Senate to begin the trial phase. That could have happened the next day – but it did not.
The House rushed the impeachment process for two reasons – so they said.. They claimed that it would take too long for the Supreme court to decide the issue of Executive Privilege – and compel testimony of what Democrats referred to as “key witnesses.” AND THEN, in a reverse of logic, Democrats said they could proceed because they had “all the evidence” they needed to have Trump both impeached and removed from office. They claimed they had to expedite the process to prevent Trump from rigging the 2020 presidential election, which – they alleged—he was doing every day. There was no time to wait. But that was then, and this is now.
All those House Democrats who claimed that urgency was a primary consideration must have been – or at least should have been — embarrassed when Pelosi pulled the rug out from under that political narrative. Instead of rushing the Articles to the Senate, Pelosi said she would not transfer the Articles until the Senate formally established the rules for the trial that were satisfactory to … HER. Suddenly, there was no need to hurry things along. Congress went on vacation for the holidays and the Articles sat on Pelosi’s desk.
In the sort of logic that can only come out of the politicians in Washington, Pelosi – without batting an eye – determined that there was no real rush after all. Instead, she decided that SHE would set the rules for the Senate even though she has zero right or authority to do so. Instead of doing her job, she has been trying to do the Senate’s job.
Even more bizarre, Pelosi was insisting that THE SENATE should be required to call all those witnesses that she had said were not critical to the case. They had all they needed to advance the Articles of Impeachment.
Of course, there was no guarantee that any of the witness she designated would have responded to the Senate any more than they did to the House – with the possible exception of former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has since indicated a willingness to respond to a subpoena. In other words, Pelosi was asking the Senate to take up precious time to go to the Supreme Court to compel their testimony – something the House was unwilling to do.
Getting the Senate to bend to her will was a battle that Pelosi was destined to lose. At best, she could pre-emptively badmouth the Senate for being too political in addressing the upcoming trial – blunting the fact that the House impeachment was a badly handled partisan political process.
Her willingness to further delay the process – and her demand for more witnesses – betrays the fact that even Pelosi knows that the House undertook the weakest and most political impeachment effort in American history. Not only was there no “high crime or misdemeanor,” there was no crime whatsoever – just dubious accusations of alleged bad behavior.
Soon, Pelosi will do what she had to do all along – unconditional surrender to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He will set the rules for the Senate trial as he would have back in December. Pelosi’s meaningless political tantrum will have had no effect on the process. In fact, it may have made it easier for the Senate to dismiss the impeachment process as nothing more than political chicanery and irrational partisan obsession that grew out of the 2016 election.
Hypocritically, Democrats are saying that Senate Republicans are violating their special impeachment oath and they are not open-minded when virtually no Democrat is open-minded. There may be a couple of votes on both sides of the aisle that are not yet locked in, but that is about it. Virtually every member of the United States Senate knows how he or she will vote.
Pelosi correctly said that any impeachment needs to have bipartisan support. These Articles do not. The only example of bipartisanship was the four Democrats who did NOT vote in favor of impeachment.
It was said that any impeachment must have overwhelming public support. These Articles do not. Traditionally, impeachment is based on a judicial crime. These Articles are not. Impeachment should only be advanced when there is a reasonable – maybe even a remote – possibility that the Senate could convict and remove a President based on convincing evidence. These Articles have no such expectation because they have no such evidence.
For all the game playing by Pelosi & Co., the Articles of Impeachment will be DOA when they finally reach the Senate. In fact, they were stillborn – and everyone knew it.
So, there ‘tis.