A Republican found a creative way to make fun of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) failed impeachment delay.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) released an instructional video Thursday showing Pelosi how to find the Senate, the Washington Examiner reported. But it seems Pelosi didn’t need a GPS to tell her it was time to give up in her three-week stalemate with Republicans over the terms of President Donald Trump’s Senate trial; the House speaker announced Friday that Democrats would begin discussions about sending articles of impeachment to the Senate next week.
A how-to for Nancy
The impasse finally broke when Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues, said Friday that the party would take steps next week to appoint impeachment managers to prosecute their case. It marks a dramatic defeat for the speaker, who sought unsuccessfully with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to have Republicans commit to trial rules that would include immediately calling additional witnesses.
From the start, Pelosi’s delay invited mockery from Republicans who said that she was playing games with what she had made out to be a “solemn” process. But as pundits debated Pelosi’s motives, Rep. Roy suggested it was a matter of simple navigation that was the matter; the Republican released a video that showed him crossing from one chamber of Congress to the other in less than two minutes.
.@SpeakerPelosi can’t seem to find the Senate, so I took the time to show her the path from the House floor to the Senate floor. Guess what? It only took 1 minute and 37 seconds.
Madam speaker, what’s the holdup? pic.twitter.com/H3WUCJXRoD
— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) January 9, 2020
Pelosi cries “cover-up”
Pelosi had held up the process for weeks, delaying what was previously expected to be a predictable process indefinitely. The speaker and Schumer insisted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) open up the trial to additional witnesses, but as McConnell stonewalled, Democrats settled on a messaging strategy that Republicans were preparing a “cover up” of Trump’s supposed crimes involving Ukraine.
The speaker had hoped to pressure enough Republicans to meet the vote threshold to have a trial on her terms, and while the fight won’t be over until senators vote — and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is apparently still wavering on McConnell’s approach — the majority leader is expected to prevail after he announced that he had enough votes to start a trial without any agreement on witnesses. In a letter Friday, Pelosi struck a defiant tone while slamming McConnell for his perceived unfairness.
Still, Pelosi conceded that Democrats would begin talks about appointing impeachment managers, according to NBC News, a reversal from her position that McConnell must first lay out an acceptable trial plan before she would proceed. She intimated that Democrats will hone in on the “cover-up” talking point.
“For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts,” Pelosi said. “Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the president’s violations for which he was impeached,” she added.
Confusion at the Capitol
Before Pelosi gave up, Senate Democrats had begun defecting as the momentum seemed to shift in McConnell’s favor. Some, especially Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), invited mockery for appearing to backpedal at Pelosi’s command.
But Pelosi’s capitulation means that things likely stand where they were always expected to end up: with Republicans taking control and then moving to acquit the president quickly. It also raises the distinct possibility that Senate Democrats who are running for president, like Sens. Cory Booker (NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), will have to spend time away from the primaries at a crucial point in the race.
All the same, President Trump has not written off calling former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as witnesses, according to the New York Post, so there might be time for some more fireworks. But in the meantime, Trump and his allies haven’t lost the opportunity to knock Pelosi’s ill-conceived gambit.
“She will go down as perhaps the least successful speaker in U.S. history!” Trump tweeted Friday.