Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
We all knew this stage of grief was coming and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has welcomed it in her trademark style.
Pelosi gave a press conference yesterday in which she was asked (by a supposed unbiased journalist) whether Trump would be checked by the House’s actions or if he’d be “emboldened” because of the coming acquittal.
Her answer? That Trump isn’t real acquitted or something.
If Trump is acquitted, “he will not be acquitted. You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial and you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation…”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 30, 2020
Well, alrighty then.
Apparently, the 17 witnesses and mountains of documents presented during the Senate trial don’t count. Only new, 11th hour witnesses called at the end of the trial count as “having witnesses.” Makes sense.
This entire line of argument is ridiculous. One, a Senate trial is what the Senate says it is. Two, you can absolutely have a trial without calling witnesses who were not part of the discovery process. In fact, it’s exceedingly rare (perhaps unheard of but let’s skip the absolutes) for a witness to just appear at a trial having not been part of the discovery process. In this case, the House filled that role and chose not to pursue John Bolton.
Further, a common refrain is that Trump is the only impeachment trial to “not have witnesses.” That’s misleading. As mentioned, his trial did have witnesses. Video and statements by 17 different witnesses were shared. But further, the Clinton impeachment did not allow new witnesses either. Only three people that had been previously called and interviewed by the House were allowed to give further clarification on their remarks via a closed-door session. In fact, Democrats argued against the allowing of any late, “bombshell” witnesses, which is exactly what Bolton would be.
Here’s the reality. Trump, if he’s acquitted, will be acquitted. No amount of ridiculous spin will change that. Not from Nancy Pelosi, not from Chuck Schumer, and not from Adam Schiff.