The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Democrats Hit Rock Bottom on Impeachment and Start Digging, Part 2

Brett Davis

Posted on December 26, 2019 17:42

3 users

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been reduced to desperate hostage-taking as 2019 comes to an end.

If you thought Democrats' impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump couldn’t get any more ridiculous, you were proven wrong in spectacular fashion by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Apparently acting on advice from legal scholar and Trump-hater Laurence Tribe, Pelosi has refused to commit to delivering articles of impeachment to the Senate, citing concerns about an unfair trial on removing Trump from office. To say this course of action is fraught with peril on several fronts for Democrats is an understatement.

First of all, since Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t even want a trial and thinks impeachment is a sham, it’s hard to see what, if any, leverage Pelosi has over McConnell with this gambit.

Furthermore, Democrats' alleged concern over fairness rings hollow. After all, Democrats orchestrated a Star Chamber-like effort in the House in the form of secret hearings for weeks to develop the basis for their impeachment, including initially forgoing a full assembly vote on approving an impeachment inquiry. They selectively leaked portions of depositions to the media that were beneficial for advancing their narrative. They refused GOP witness requests in the Intelligence Committee. They denied the GOP a hearing day in the Judiciary Committee. They rushed the impeachment debate and vote.

That these same Democrats who set up blatantly partisan and unfair impeachment hearings in the House are now complaining about not being able to dictate terms of a trial in the Senate is deliciously absurd.

Then, there’s the inconvenient fact the sole power to conduct impeachment trials resides with the Senate, per the Constitution. Likewise, the Constitution grants the sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives. In other words, one legislative body does not get to intrude upon the duties of the other legislative body.

Bottom line: The House Democratic majority could do what it wanted during impeachment. Now, if there ever is a trial, the Senate Republican majority can also do what it wants. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

And speaking of a trial, Pelosi’s attempt to hold articles of impeachment over Trump’s head as a sort of Sword of Damocles to demand favorable trial terms in the Senate, at the very least, runs counter to the spirit of the Constitution and makes Democrats look like raging hypocrites.

Democrats' strategy of obstructing their own impeachment undercuts any momentum they may have had. It also kneecaps their oft-repeated claim about how urgent it is to impeach Trump, who Democrats claim is a threat to national security and someone who could imperil the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

Pelosi’s decision to now sit on articles of impeachment makes the entire process look like a petty and purely partisan exercise undertaken by a party that still hasn’t come to terms with the fact Trump bested Hillary Clinton at the ballot box in November 2016 – probably because that’s exactly what it is.

Brett Davis

Posted on December 26, 2019 17:42

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: Reason

I recently wrote a review essay on the law and politics of impeachments, particularly presidential impeachments. There...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest