Newt Gingrich has made a brutal diagnosis of what he thinks is truly behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) impeachment paralysis, according to Fox News.
Pelosi’s decision to withhold articles of impeachment — which is certain to backfire — proves that her party is “brain-dead,” the former Republican lawmaker told “Fox & Friends.” President Trump has turned the tables and been able to successfully fundraise off of Pelosi’s gambit, which is doomed to be defeated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) anyway, Gingrich said.
“He ought to send her a beautiful ‘thank you’ note saying that no one has done more to finance my campaign than you have Nancy, please spend the next months convincing people your party is brain-dead,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich slams Pelosi’s delay tactics
After months — years, even — of insisting that Donald Trump desperately needed to be held accountable for a catalogue of nebulous offenses, Democrats halted the impeachment of Trump on a dime after voting to charge him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Weeks later, there has been no break of the stalemate regarding the next phase of the process, and Republicans are clearly losing patience.
There is wide agreement that Pelosi is seeking some kind of leverage, but there’s not much of a consensus that her strategy is working. Republicans have happily attacked Pelosi’s delay as an admission of weakness and a display of bad faith.
Pelosi is refusing to send articles of impeachment to the Senate in an effort to pressure McConnell to hold a trial on terms more favorable to Democrats, but the majority leader has made it very clear that he won’t let Pelosi tell the Senate how to run its trial. Gingrich said that Pelosi must be crazy to think she can outmaneuver McConnell, noted for his skill in managing political conflicts.
“The idea that Pelosi thinks that she can somehow bluff Mitch McConnell — verges on requiring a psychologist,” Gingrich said. “She has no leverage on him. None. And it makes her look weak and foolish.”
Lack of leverage
Some Republican senators, namely Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have expressed misgivings about McConnell’s approach — but McConnell announced Tuesday that he has the votes to move forward without making any deal with Democrats on witnesses, Fox reported. While Republicans and President Trump had long expressed a desire to question Joe and Hunter Biden in the Senate, Republicans have now lined up behind the concept of a rapid trial with few, if any, witnesses.
Democrats capitalized on the news Monday that John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, plans to testify if subpoenaed by the Senate, in an attempt to regain some leverage in the trial negotiations. Those on the left want to hear from Bolton and other witnesses, and they want the production of additional documents related to Trump’s actions toward Ukraine — but they just may not have the votes to compel such an outcome.
Exercise in futility
Critics of Pelosi’s approach have argued that she risks undermining the seriousness of her case, thereby making Trump and his claims of a “witch hunt” more credible to independent voters. Gingrich said that Pelosi was ironically helping Trump’s campaign, which raised $46 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, The Hill reported.
“The more she plays games, the more she devalues the impeachment process and turns it from a historic event to just politics,” Gingrich said. “I can’t quite fathom it, because they know from the polling numbers that the longer this goes on, the stronger President Trump is getting. They know they are looking more and more like a party that’s purely political in the worst sense of the word.”
Some have argued that Pelosi can use the delay to paint McConnell as presiding over an allegedly unfair process — but at the end of the day, none of that will matter when Republicans vote to acquit the president. At this rate, she’s really just postponing the inevitable.