House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claims she’s upset that Republicans might not provide a fair trial in the Senate allegedly because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments about coordinating aspects of the trial with the White House.
Pelosi said she was hesitant because she doubts that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will hold a fair trial, based on comments he made last week about being in lockstep with the White House. So, she reiterated Thursday morning, she decided not to act until “we see the process that is set forth in the Senate.”
She also claims to be concerned about whether Democrats being allowed to call witnesses who the Democrats couldn’t be bothered to wait for in the House process because they were in such a rush to impeach.
Of course, she wasn’t concerned at all with providing “fairness” in the House by allowing Republicans to call their own witnesses and evidence. She wasn’t concerned enough to release the secret deposition transcripts that she’s still siting on in violation of Congressional rules, according to Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX).
Rep. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also may have given away the real motive, that he admitted they thought they would get under Trump’s skin if they impeached him and then sat on it, which is likely the more accurate reason.
There’s no political benefit to them to send it on to trial where Trump would be acquitted and all their ‘evidence’ attacked and exposed as baseless. Plus, people like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) would likely have to testify and answer about his contacts with the whistleblower.
The McConnell remarks did appear to have caused one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) concern.
From Fox News:
“When I heard that, I was disturbed,” Murkowski told local NBC affiliate KTUU in an interview that aired Tuesday evening. “To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process.”
But Pelosi’s “official” excuse about McConnell falls apart when you look back at history and see that the Democrats coordinated with the Clinton White House during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
It stands to reason that there would have to be a certain amount of coordination just for the sake of holding the trial.
But as former Washington Post reporter Peter Baker detailed in his book, “The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton,” Senate Democrats coordinated with the White House on a number of impeachment-related issues behind the scenes.
According to Baker, one of those arrangements involved White House Counsel Charles Ruff arranging a “secret signal” with Democratic leadership. If Ruff wanted to rebut anything from the Republican House managers, something rules didn’t allow for, he pre-arranged with then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s aides for a senator to submit a question to then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist asking the White House to respond.
Aides reportedly would “fill in the name” of one of several “default senators” — such as Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and then-Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. — who had agreed to allow themselves to “be used in this way.”
The book also detailed how then-Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, spoke with Clinton and helped organize a pressure campaign in defeating Sen. Susan Collins’, R-Maine., attempt to adopt “findings of fact” by which the Senate could take a majority vote on whether Clinton lied under oath and impeded discovery of evidence even if the chamber failed to convict him. Baker described how Clinton “tracked down Harkin in the Democratic cloakroom during a break in the trial to vent his outrage” at what Collins was cooking up.
“Harkin needed no convincing,” Baker wrote. “He had immediately recognized the pernicious effects of the findings plan and set about trying to destroy it before it got too far.”
Baker also noted how Daschle actually helped to recruit the Democratic lawyers to “punch holes in the case” for Clinton. They even decided not to ask questions of the House managers at all, but just lob “softball” questions to the White House lawyers to help their case.
Plus Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is criticizing McConnell now, himself ran for the Senate in 1998 on saying he would acquit Bill Clinton and that the impeachment trial wasn’t a “jury box.” So it’s pretty hard for them to talk about “being like a jury” now.
But if it really were a jury, then the five Democratic senators who are running for president against Trump would never be allowed to sit on it.
So now what, Nancy? What’s the excuse for still sitting on the articles? The fact that Trump would be acquitted and you have no evidence isn’t a legitimate excuse. You’re abusing your power and obstructing the president’s right to a trial.