Like the words to the song from the 1966 Oscar nominated movie, many are asking what is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) strategy now that Donald Trump has been impeached.
Based upon impeachment history, once Articles of Impeachment have been declared, the next move is a trial in the Senate. Yet, Pelosi is holding back on delivering these articles to the Senate.
Why is she doing this?
While people mistakenly believe impeachment is a legal process, it is actually a political one, which is why the House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, faced such resistance. So, by moving on to the trial phase in the Republican-controlled Senate,
Speaker Pelosi is concerned the same partisanship will play out in sham proceedings where Trump can once again falsely claim “total vindication”. Then, he undoubtedly will use that as a major talking point in his re-election campaign.
But didn’t Pelosi state, when she announced starting the impeachment process, that Trump’s actions left them “no choice but to act”? She insisted his actions constitute a threat to the Constitution, and therefore required immediate action. Her delay in delivering the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial seems to negate this argument.
The problem lies in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) impeachment strategy. He has made no secret that he will not uphold his oath of office, nor the oath he will swear at the start of the trial process to be impartial. In fact, he’s said he is working closely with Trump’s White House in advance of the trial. Moreover, he has vowed to follow a blueprint established during the Clinton impeachment trial, where the Senate heard from both sides before deciding whether to call further witnesses.
McConnell is undoubtably planning to allow both sides to state their respective cases, then have an appointed senator move for dismissal, throwing the entire process into disarray.
This is why Speaker Pelosi is holding back on delivering the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. By refusing to allow witnesses, Trump will avoid the consequences of his actions and be free to commit more illegal actions because Republicans will not hold him accountable.
Oddly enough, Trump disagrees with McConnell’s strategy -- except the witnesses he wants called are Joe and Hunter Biden; the people at the very center of the impeachment process. Trump hopes he can claim Executive Privilege in not allowing the witnesses sought by Democrats, and thus turn the trial into a vilification of his chief rival in the 2020 election.
The machinations behind the scenes are truly staggering.
And while McConnell says he wants to follow the Clinton impeachment example, he is sure to balk at the process where Bill Clinton provided videotaped testimony. Having Trump testify in any form has been opposed by Republicans in Congress.
Only time will tell how it will all play out.