Politically speaking, the failed effort of House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), to impeach and remove President Donald Trump from office was a costly mistake in terms of time, political capital, and bipartisan goodwill.
Now, a new report indicates that the impeachment push was not exactly a bargain for American taxpayers, either. According to Just the News, the House spent more than $3 million in attempting to oust the president.
In fact, that little bit of news earned the publication’s weekly “Golden Horshoe” award — so named for the infamous $640 toilet seats the Pentagon reportedly purchased in the 1980s — as a prime example of government waste, fraud, and abuse at taxpayer expense.
Costly impeachment push
The news about the wasteful cost of the failed impeachment venture came from the annual OpenTheBooks Oversight report, entitled “Congressional Membership Has Its Privileges,” which breaks down and highlights the most egregious examples congressional waste, fraud, and misuse of taxpayer funds.
Between Sept. 24, 2019, when Speaker Pelosi first announced the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, and Dec. 13 of the same year, when the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to pass two articles of impeachment, the ultimately failed venture cost taxpayers no less than $3.06 million, according to the report.
That estimated tally covers the salaries of the 106 congressional aides, employees, and staffers who, for all intents and purposes, worked full-time on impeachment during that period.
It also covers the expenses incurred in terms of hourly fees for the six outside attorneys brought in to provide counsel and serve as the lawyer of record for witnesses who appeared in both the closed-door and open hearings held in the various committees, Just the News reported.
Not a complete accounting
In all likelihood, the actual cost of the failed impeachment is much higher than the $3.06 million estimate, as OpenTheBooks noted that the derived figure had not factored in the expenses incurred by the Senate trial portion of the process that began in January of 2020 and ended a few weeks later in February of 2020.
Those costs would include the salaries of Senate aides and staffers and the incalculable costs of time that could have been better spent on key legislative priorities.
The estimate also did not cover the overtime costs undoubtedly incurred by U.S. Capitol Police who had to provide around-the-clock security for the proceedings. Likewise, the costs of various materials and supplies used, the travel and security expenses for witnesses, or even the expenses of the executive branch and White House in defending against the impeachment were not considered in the total either.
Just the News pointed out that the sham impeachment was launched just weeks after the conclusion of the Robert Mueller-led special counsel probe that lasted more than two years. Given that the Mueller probe reportedly cost taxpayers at least $32 million, it appears that at least $35 million was wasted by Democrats on two quixotic efforts to remove President Trump from office.
The American people should demand a refund — but since that is unlikely to occur, the next best thing would be to vote those singularly-focused and wasteful spenders on the left out of office, if only to prevent them from throwing even more good money after bad should Trump frustrate them further by winning re-election.