After over three weeks of waiting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has finally agreed to send both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a trial.
The speaker had been withholding them as part of an effort to force concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but as Washington Post contributor Rachel Bade explained Sunday, that approach just hasn’t panned out, a fact many of her congressional colleagues have acknowledged in private.
According to Bade, Pelosi “was clearly putting a positive spin on what a lot of Democrats have privately said was a failed strategy” during her appearance on ABC’s This Week, in which the House speaker’s risky gambit was analyzed.
“I mean she and Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate, set out to number one, try to get a commitment from McConnell on witnesses, firsthand witnesses to testify in a Senate trial,” Bade continued, according to Breitbart.
She went on: “She said she wanted to see a resolution about, you know, how the whole proceedings would be governed. She got neither of those.
“I know her team has sort of said, look, she was able to hold out, there was a bunch of new revelations that happened over the holiday break,” Bade went on, referring in part to a declaration last week from Donald Trump’s former National Security adviser that he was prepared to comply with a Senate subpoena, should one be issued.
“[John] Bolton came out and said he’s willing to testify. She was holding the articles the whole time. Those things probably would have happened regardless of whether she was holding them. And, in fact, there might have even been more news focused on those things if everybody wasn’t asking what is Nancy Pelosi doing for the articles,” Bade concluded.
Yet even now, it is not entirely clear how events will play out in the Senate going forward. “What happens there is a matter of some dispute at this point,” ABC’s David Wright said this week.
“There’s been some suggestions from the president’s corner that the Senate could simply dismiss the case immediately, that they would ask the chief justice, John Roberts, who will be presiding over the Senate trial, to dismiss the charges because they claim they’re unconstitutional,” he added.
What’s more, it’s possible that Pelosi’s bungled strategy could cause more division within her party, as some of Democratic presidential candidates will have to take a break from campaigning in order to attend the trial.
This scenario is something that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) touched on specifically during a Sunday interview with Fox News.
“The Iowa caucus is on February third,” McCarthy noted. “Bernie Sanders is in first place and what this does is benefit Joe Biden. This harms Sen. Sanders, who is in first place and could become their nominee because he will be stuck in a chair because Nancy Pelosi held the papers.”