Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal is making a good point about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sitting on the articles of impeachment.
Who says that Pelosi even wants it to go to trial?
Pelosi knows that President Donald Trump is going to be exonerated in a trial because it wouldn’t be controlled by Democrats trying to game the system and they will actually expose the fact that there isn’t evidence of impeachable offenses. Not having a trial also avoids exploring the contacts between the whistleblower and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff and/or his staff or to look into any possible Biden corruption, although Sen. Lindsey Graham has promised a separated proceeding into both anyway.
Mrs. Pelosi has understood from the start that the inevitable outcome was acquittal. There won’t be 20 Republican votes to remove Mr. Trump from office. So why hasten the president’s vindication? If the goal of this exercise all along was to damage Mr. Trump’s prospects for re-election, why wouldn’t Democrats want to hold an unconsummated impeachment over his head for as long as politically possible?
Think of it as “rolling” impeachment. Every day the Senate doesn’t hold a trial, Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are free to argue that the process is rigged. They are already claiming that the Senate’s Republican “jurors” have abandoned impartiality, are actively working with Mr. Trump to cover up his crimes, and are afraid to hold a trial.
Indeed, we mentioned this as her possible strategy all along in a prior article. That way she can claim Trump was impeached and not cleared because Republicans are “unfair.”
It allows her to cater to her base and say they got Trump impeached.
Of course there are a few holes in this idea as she’s now finding out. The delay doesn’t necessarily count against the Republicans, even with friendly media willing to paint them as the “unfair” ones.
The general public saw Democrats pitching Trump as an immediate threat who needed to be removed and now suddenly doesn’t. There was such an immediate need, the Democrats couldn’t wait to call some of the witnesses. Except now they want the Senate to call those witnesses they couldn’t be bothered to wait for before or it wouldn’t be “fair.” On top of that, they denied Republicans the ability to call witnesses and or present exculpatory evidence in the House. Now they’re denying Trump a fair trial in the Senate by their actions.
Even Pelosi’s own witness, Harvard Law professor, Noah Feldman, is saying that sitting on it for more than a short time is constitutionally problematic.
So that leaves two main options for Republicans.
Ignore it and move on since they really don’t want to have a trial on it anyway and let her stew in the mess of her own making. That puts the onus on her because she’s the one sitting on it. Concentrate on winning the election, focus on the all the good things that are going on like the economy, emphasizing that impeachment is all that Democrats are about and they can’t even get that right.
Senate Republicans should schedule a trial immediately. Mr. McConnell has a majority to set the rules, and he has history, the Constitution and fairness on his side. Republicans also have a duty to spare the nation from the damaging precedent Mrs. Pelosi is setting. They can end the farce of endless, rolling, partisan impeachment.
But Pelosi doesn’t care about what damage this does, it’s all a political calculation about how best to win back power.