Impeachment Wire: The Latest On The Effort To Impeach President Trump

edited January 11 in General
January 10, 2020

The overall state of play in the Democrats’ partisan impeachment imbroglio has not changed a whole lot over the past week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are still working in tandem to seek to extract procedural concessions from Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) before Pelosi formally transmits impeachment articles over to Congress’s upper chamber for a prospective impeachment trial.

But as The Daily Wire reported last Friday, McConnell took to the Senate floor to reject Pelosi’s bid to dictate any rules. “[J]ust before the holidays, this sad spectacle took another unusual turn: As soon as the partisan impeachment votes had finished, the prosecutors began to develop cold feet,” McConnell said, shortly after he excoriated Democrats’ gambit as “short-term partisan rage. Alas, Pelosi hit back earlier this week, as also reported by The Daily Wire. “Tuesday night, Pelosi released a note, sent to McConnell, demanding that McConnell give House Dems an outline of the Senate trial and ‘immediately’ publish a resolution detailing the Senate trial rules, according to CNN,” Daily Wire Senior Editor Emily Zanotti noted.

Pelosi’s adamance here is, in a nutshell, bizarre. As has been incandescently obvious since the outset of this silly exercise in self-beclowning, McConnell and Senate Republicans have no incentive whatsoever to substantively negotiate with House Democrats and concede anything to them. Senate Republicans, in short, would be just fine to see the House Democratic “prosecution” indeed get “cold feet” — to borrow McConnell’s verbiage. In that scenario, the president would be acquitted by procedural default, Republicans could credibly appeal to swing voters turned off by the time-wasting and utterly destructive nature of the Democrats’ folly, and Democrats could still tell their base that they (kind of/sort of) impeached the president.

One new twist in the impeachment drama is the resolution recently introduced by ascendant freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wherein the Senate would formally drop impeachment articles after 25 days of failure to formally transmit due to the House’s lack of “prosecution,” as The Daily Wire reported last week. As a constitutional attorney by training, I do think the Senate clearly has the legal authority to unilaterally change its own internal rules and proceed along Hawley’s proposed path. Ditto Texas Public Policy Foundation General Counsel Rob Henneke, who wrote this week at The Daily Wire that “Sen. Hawley’s proposal is by no means revolutionary. … This idea of dismissal for want of prosecution, or ‘DWOP,’ is commonplace in both civil and criminal litigation.”

As far as impeachment polling is concerned, FiveThirtyEight — which Impeachment Wire has consistently cited — still shows a slim majority in support of impeachment. The RealClearPolitics average shows opposition to impeachment polling slightly higher than support for it, and I only expect to continue.

Moving ahead, the only relevant question is how long Pelosi and Schumer continue to delay an impeachment trial. At this point, considering Pelosi’s latest riposte to McConnell, it does not seem at all obvious that there will ever be a Senate trial. And it is extraordinarily difficult to see how that could possibly help Democrats, come November.

Comments

  • edited January 12
    Socialists Democrats have 23 days to impeach or impeachment get thrown out. In the end democrats will present the articles to the Senate. But in the end the judge/Senate will clear Trump. Its a lose-lose situation for Democrats so go for it.

    It will be entertaining for us to watch. And with this, both houses will be under GOP control. You guys lost it. Crying over a terrorist who killed 30 Micronesians and 700 Americans sealed it.
  • LOL at you guys lost it.. no that's funny!
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