House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) oversaw the hurried impeachment inquiry that resulted in the passage of “urgent” articles against President Donald Trump in mid-December, only to then sit on those supposedly pressing articles for three weeks and refuse to forward them to the Republican-controlled Senate in a quixotic quest to shape the trial rules in favor of the Democrats.
Pelosi’s delay appears to have been all for naught, however, as she revealed on Friday that Democrats will likely transmit the articles to the Senate next week — without having first obtained the concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that she had demanded, Breitbart reported.
Hypocritical demands defeated
The demands set forth by Pelosi as part of her delay in transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate were rife with hypocrisy, as she requested a panoply of guarantees and “rights” that her House colleagues had not afforded Republicans or President Trump during the first phase of the process.
One of the primary concessions on which Pelosi insisted was an upfront agreement from McConnell to issue subpoenas for documents and witness testimony for which her House caucus had been too impatient to wait prior to passing the articles.
She had also sought assurances that a Senate trial would be conducted in a “fair” and “impartial” manner — again, something her own side had stunningly declined to do during the House hearings.
On both of those requests and more, McConnell essentially told Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pound sand, reminding them that he is in charge and will determine how the trial will proceed. McConnell stated early on his preference that the rules for the Trump trial would mirror those utilized during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton.
Articles to Senate next week
Incredibly, but likely due to mounting pressure from Democrats frustrated by the futile delay for non-existent leverage, Pelosi buckled and conceded defeat on Friday — albeit a defeat wrapped in an attempt to shift blame for her own failed tactic onto McConnell.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter issued from the speaker’s office on Friday, Pelosi informed her Democratic comrades of the “next steps” in the interminable impeachment saga.
Following some dizzying spin and thinly-disguised foot-stomping, Pelosi wrote, “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.”
She followed that up with a thinly-veiled challenge to the integrity of Republican senators: “In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.’ Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.”
Moving toward conclusion
No amount of linguistic gymnastics will change the fact that Pelosi essentially caved on Friday and took the loss in her foolish standoff with McConnell over the articles of impeachment.
Now, finally, it appears the articles will be transmitted, and the delayed trial can be conducted until it reaches its inevitable conclusion — which was never in any doubt — of an acquittal for the president.