Is Donald Trump’s impeachment really a plot to get rid of Bernie Sanders?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) decision to withhold articles of impeachment from the Senate for a month was really an attempt to protect Joe Biden from a Sanders surge, according to a new theory from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The Senate trial will begin soon, but behind schedule, forcing Democratic senators running for president to abandon the campaign trail for its duration.
“The Iowa caucus is on February third,” McCarthy said. “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.”
McCarthy: Pelosi delay meant to hurt Sanders
Pelosi had spent a good part of her first year since reclaiming the speaker’s gavel fighting with hard-left progressives over issues ranging from climate change to Donald Trump’s impeachment. Conventional wisdom dictates that Pelosi never wanted to impeach Trump and that her hand was forced by the liberal wing of her party.
In that frame, Pelosi’s decision to delay impeachment for weeks has been seen as a futile effort to make the most of a politically losing situation by pressuring Republicans to allow more witnesses at trial. It’s unlikely that the Senate proceedings would end with Trump’s removal from office anyway, leaving many to speculate about Pelosi’s true motive.
In comments on Fox News this past Sunday and at a press conference Tuesday, McCarthy suggested there was a grander strategy at play than met the eye, since a trial could take Sanders away from the campaign trail during the run-up to the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. McCarthy’s theory recalls allegations from 2016 that Sanders was railroaded by the Democratic National Committee, which Sanders supporters claimed rigged the primary in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
“Within her own leadership, there were questions about why she held [the articles],” McCarthy said.
But if there’s anyone who gained from this, it’d be anybody who’s running for president that’s not in the U.S. Senate. With Iowa quickly upon us in early February, those four senators who are running for president will now no longer have a voice.
Trial set to begin amid Dem rift
Democrats will finally vote to send the articles to the Senate this week, jeopardizing the campaigning ability of other senators running for president including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Adding to the woes of the progressive left, an ascendant Sanders is locked in a bloody feud with his longtime friend, Warren.
Sanders is on the rise in Iowa, where he recently polled in first place. With the Iowa caucuses in just a few weeks, Warren accused Sanders in no uncertain terms on Monday of being a sexist, after CNN published a report claiming that Sanders told Warren in a private meeting that he did not think a woman could win the presidency.
Warren slammed Sanders over the weekend after a report surfaced that his campaign was distributing scripts telling volunteers to frame her as the candidate of affluent urban professionals. As the knives come out on the progressive left, the Trump campaign has labelled Sanders the new frontrunner, and Trump has made clear that he is watching the infighting intently.
Trump targets Bernie
Some have suggested that Trump is turning his attention to Sanders to intentionally boost the prospects of a candidate he feels more comfortable facing in November. Similarly, it could be that Pelosi, a veteran of the political establishment, is fearful of Democrats giving the nomination to a radical leftist she views as unelectable.
“If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders,” former Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told Politico. “I think the contrast is the best. He can say, ‘I’m a business guy, the economy’s good and this guy’s a socialist.’”
With this kind of infighting, though, an elaborate plot to protect the establishment may be unnecessary.