House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the radical left of her caucus what they wanted – President Trump’s impeachment. She delivered. Now she threatens NOT to deliver.
In her victory-lap press conference, Pelosi stated that she may not deliver the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate until she was convinced that Trump would get a fair trial – to Democrats as a continuation of the partisan vigilante justice he got in the House. To underscore the Democrats’ latest we-are-in-charge strategy, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, of South Carolina, went on CNN to say that the Democrats could hold the Articles hostage (my word, not his) indefinitely – theoretically preventing a Senate trial.
So, what is wrong with this strategy – more specifically than EVERYTHING.
For a Party that did a lot of self-serving chest-pounding and back-slapping for their alleged devotion to the Constitution, the idea of blocking the all-important trial is the height of hypocrisy.
We only need to recall how House Democrats claimed exclusive rights to conduct the impeachment by any rules they desired. They wanted no advice from Republicans. Nor did they see any reason to involve the Supreme Court to resolve issues. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal — in a complete disregard for the separation of powers and co-equal branches – stated flat out that “we [members of the House] are not accountable to the courts.”
Suddenly, the Pelosi Democrats believe that THEY are entitled to dictate the Senate rules governing the requisite trial. If they do not get their way, presumably they will not deliver the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate – preventing a trial.
The very suggestion would be further evidence that the House Democrats are well aware that their impeachment lacks gravitas. It is too weak – too political – to avoid an appropriate rejection by every Republican member of the Senate.
The tactic also establishes the fact that Pelosi unleashed here political junk-yard dogs without any expectation – or even a hope – of having the President convicted and removed from office. It was a political ruse designed to weaken Trump in advance of the 2020 General Election. That is why they were in such a rush to act before the election. That is why they did not want to let Trump’s service in the Oval Office be decided by we the people.
This is a tactic that could easily pull the rug out from under the Democrats in terms of the so-called independent voters. Anyone who felt even a little uneasy about the efficacy of the impeachment will be repulsed by such a crass and flagrant political move.
If the trial were to be postponed past the election, there would be a lot of happy Republican senators. They would be off that hook-of-shame upon which the Democrats have been trying to hang them. Trump would most certainly read Democrat cowardness as an exculpatory event. He would declare his innocence.
There is also another unforeseen possibility. What if the Senate takes up the Articles regardless? What if they pre-emptively pass a resolution repudiating the Articles and declaring the President innocent of all charges – along with a resolution condemning the House for abuse of its own power by violating constitutional requirements.
While it is the tradition for the House to “send bills over to the Senate,” it is not clarified in the Constitution how that takes place. In other words, can the Senate simply declare that it has accepted the Articles and act accordingly? That is a question that might have to be decided by the Supreme Court – another one of those constitutional grey areas that pop up now and then.
In the final analysis, it would appear that the Democrats are walking into yet another Robert Mueller investigation scenario. The best and most rational explanation of Pelosi’s ploy is that they want to delay the trial hoping that they can find more fodder for their impeachment mill.
Let us not forget that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff – and others – have promised to keep investigating and investigating to see what other straws they can pile on this camel’s back. They got nothing from the Mueller probe despite their two-year bogus claims. They got nothing from Mueller’s live testimony – which was supposed to bring the issues to what Democrats see as an illiterate public. The prolonged and carefully choreographed impeachment extravaganza seems to have raised Trump’s positive polling numbers. And they face virtual certainty of another humiliation in the Senate.
Pelosi & Company are merely continuing their three years of effort to unseat or defeat this President. It is an obsession that may actually have the opposite effect. Admittedly, Trump is not an easy guy to like, but the Democrats are making him an easy guy to prefer.
Regardless of the political machinations, attempting to block the trial seems to be a strategy with its backlash built in. It would tend to prove that the entire impeachment process was the sham the critics proclaimed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got off the best comment in the feud. He pondered, “What is the leverage of refusing to send us something the Senate does not want?”
Holding up the Articles is such a bad idea that it is almost unimaginable that Pelosi and her brood would go down that path. But we can always hope.
So, there ‘tis.