Last week, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump in a vote Speaker Nancy Pelosi deemed “appropriate and urgent.” However, Pelosi has yet to transmit them to the upper chamber and has given no timeline regarding when she plans to do so. Rather, she seems content to sit on the articles as a means of gaining political leverage.
Pelosi’s continued wittholding of the impeachment articles from the Senate represents a major change in tune from that extreme sense urgency she and her colleagues claimed just days ago, as Breitbart notes.
Changing their tune
Up until last Wednesday, the Democrats’ narrative was that Trump was such a clear and present threat to the country that he needed to be impeached quickly, and there was no time to waste in calling additional witnesses or seeking more evidence.
“Given the proximate threat of further presidential attempts to solicit foreign interference in our next election, we cannot wait to make a referral until our efforts to obtain additional testimony and documents wind their way through the courts,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said in his impeachment report.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) agreed with that assessment. In a Dec. 9 statement, Nadler declared, “We agree that when the elections themselves are threatened by enemies foreign or domestic, we cannot wait until the next election to address the threat.”
“The threat is urgent,” Nadler stated again two days later. “If we do not act — now — what happens next will be our responsibility as well as his.”
Speaker Pelosi used similar language the following week, declaring, “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty.”
However, the president cannot be removed from office until he is convicted in a Senate trial. What’s more, that chamber cannot begin its proceedings until the House appoints “managers” — lawmakers who have been designated to bring the articles to the Senate. Pelosi has made clear that won’t happen until her demands are met.
“The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct,” she tweeted on Monday.
Pelosi went on to complain that Trump had “blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) cheered her decision, opining that withholding the articles “is a good idea” because it is “driving Trump and the Republicans crazy.”
The fact that to many Americans, this all makes impeachment seem far less like an urgent imperative and more like a cheap political stunt seems to have escaped his notice.