Though she didn’t get what she wanted from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) now seems poised to end her weeks-long delay and send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial. But she’s not done playing her games yet.
Among other requests, Pelosi was withholding the articles in hopes of pressuring McConnell to hear from additional witnesses in the Senate’s trial. Unable to convince the majority leader, however, Pelosi told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on Sunday that if the Senate doesn’t hear testimony from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, House Democrats may subpoena him themselves.
Leaving the door open
The president’s impeachment is all anyone is talking about when it comes to Nancy Pelosi — and after her Friday announcement that she’d be finally moving forward on it this week, many on the left and right are wondering why she ended her delay despite the fact that McConnell never budged from his stance. On Sunday, Stephanopoulos was no exception.
“You made the point that the president has blocked the witnesses,” he pressed the speaker, according to a transcript provided by ABC News. “And that’s true. But some of your critics have said that the House could have done a lot more to exhaust the alternatives, to go through the entire process in the courts, and…to see if they would rule on witnesses.”
“We are in court on the witnesses. It could take a very long time,” Pelosi insisted in response, a claim that was later debunked by the Washington Examiner. Stephanopoulos then asked directly:
If the Senate does not subpoena John Bolton and other witnesses, will the House move to subpoena them?
“Well, it’s not excluded, it’s not excluded, but we’ll see what they do,” Pelosi responded. “But we do think that there’s enough evidence to remove the president from office.”
Taking Trump down
The speaker went on to say that she feels House Dems have done their part. “We’ve defended the constitution of the United States,” she said, according to ABC. “We would hope that the Senate would do that as well.”
Asked if she had any “second thoughts” about withholding the articles, the speaker said, “No no no.” She insisted that she’s seen “a positive result in terms of additional emails and un-redacted information that has come forward” and “more importantly,” she said, “[raised] the profile of the fact that we need to have witnesses and documentation, and if we don’t that is a cover-up.”
Pelosi also indicated on Sunday that the door remains open for the House to draft additional articles of impeachment against President Trump. Moreover, she said, regardless of what the Senate ultimately does on a trial, Trump will be “impeached forever.”
“Ten months from now, we will have an election if we don’t have him removed sooner,” she said.
Calling the shots
For his part, President Trump responded to Pelosi’s appearance on ABC with a tweet insisting that if anyone should be testifying, it should be Pelosi and her fellow “corrupt” Democrats, like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Why did Nervous Nancy allow corrupt politician Shifty Schiff to lie before Congress? He must be a Witness, and so should she!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
But at the end of the day, Mitch McConnell is the one calling the shots — and according to The New York Times, he’s made it clear that he wants a fast trial with few, if any, witnesses.
If the Democrats wanted to hear more evidence against Trump, they should have done it before they voted to impeach him in the House. At this point, it’s too little, too late.