Pelosi made Democrats look foolish by delaying impeachment this long
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has exposed her own fellow Democrats as political opportunists with no respect for the Constitution, and they are not happy.
It has been almost a month since the House ended its rushed and biased impeachment process, despite Democrats unctuously proclaiming that they could not afford to wait to substantiate their allegations because the threat to our system of government was so urgent. Pelosi could have sent the articles to the Senate the day that her caucus voted for the flimsiest and most partisan impeachment in history. Instead, Pelosi sought to use them as leverage, hoping to convince senators to do the job the House refused to do by investigating the allegations against President Trump.
This was a gross abuse of impeachment process spelled out under the Constitution, which does not fully account for the real possibility that a House majority might actually impeach a president for purely political reasons. The Founders must have presumed that our elected officials would only vote to impeach if they truly believed that a sitting president posed a genuine threat to our system of government. That is what the American people have always presumed, hence the need for Democrats to describe their stampede to judgment as such an urgent imperative.
But after those supposedly time sensitive articles languished for more than three weeks in the House, a growing number of Democrats started expressing frustration that this game played by Pelosi made them look like liars and fools. Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes. If it is serious and urgent, send them over. If it is not, do not send it over.” Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “We were ready on the day the articles were voted to conduct the trial. At some point, it is appropriate to send them and in effect pass the baton to senators who are going to continue to insist on witnesses and documents” during the trial.
Even some Democratic leaders questioned her judgment, arguing that her attempt to dictate the rules of the trial failed, an inescapable conclusion now that Senator Mitch McConnell said he has the votes to approve rules based on the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. “I think it is time to send impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial,” proclaimed House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, referring to the process under the Constitution that assigns the Senate responsibility to conduct impeachment trials.
Pelosi has finally crumbled and sent the list of House managers. The sense of relief within her party will be short lived. Once the Senate receives the articles, McConnell will move quickly to begin trial proceedings that are certain to result in the acquittal of Trump. While that happens, however, several leading Democratic candidates will be sidelined from the trail at a critical point in the primary season, and the Trump campaign will continue to raise enormous amounts of cash by appealing to Americans outraged by Democrats who abused the impeachment power of the Constitution.
The only thing Pelosi accomplished with her cynical delay strategy was simply to confirm that Republicans were right all along when they said Democrats did not really believe their own hyperbole about the urgent need to impeach Trump. It is no wonder her colleagues are frustrated.
Madison Gesiotto is an attorney who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. You can follow her on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.