Impeachment Headed Nowhere, Perhaps in an Interesting Way

Mish

The House voted to Impeach Trump. It's only third time in history a president has been impeached. What's Next?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighs delaying delivery of articles of impeachment to Senate until Republicans set trial rules she considers fair.

The Wall Street Journal reports House Impeaches Trump, Focus Turns to Senate Trial.

Democrats signaled Thursday they could delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, potentially pushing President Trump’s trial well into the new year, to pressure Republicans to allow new witnesses and evidence in the proceeding.

The House on Wednesday approved abuse-of-power and obstruction-of-Congress articles against Mr. Trump in the wake of his pressing Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Nearly all Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), supported the charges, while the chamber’s Republicans rejected them, saying Democrats failed to show that Mr. Trump had committed a crime and that they had managed a flawed process.

Mr. Trump will now be the third president to face a trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove him from office. But it was uncertain when and under what procedures the Senate would conduct his trial.

What Happened?

What's Next? In the House

  1. Pelosi can sit on the charges and do nothing.
  2. Pelosi can send the charges to the Senate where it is then totally out of her control.

If It Goes to the Senate

  1. The Senate can choose to end the witch hunt without a trial. All that takes is 51 votes and there are 53 Republican Senators who might just wish to throw this away immediately.
  2. Trump favors a circus. Amusingly, so does Pelosi. There are people on all sides that want to call witnesses. Pelosi hopes this will backfire on Trump. But Trump believes it will backfire on Biden and the Democrats. Both sides cannot be right.
  3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a trial but no witnesses. It would be over in about the length of time it takes to strike a gavel plus a few Republican speeches of unknown length mocking the trial.

Waiting Game

“We have one card to play here, which is the timing of its conveyance to the Senate, and how can we use that card to try and make the process balanced,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.). “I think the speaker has a point of leverage. And she’s going to use that leverage to make sure the trial is fair.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) said he had spoken to at least 40 Democrats, including members of the House leadership and the Judiciary Committee, about delaying sending impeachment articles to the Senate, in a move to gain leverage in negotiations.

Some lawmakers raised the prospect that the delay could extend well into the new year, with an eye on possible court rulings that could lead to more witnesses testifying or the release of Mr. Trump’s financial records.

Asked if Democrats could delay sending over impeachment articles for months, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.) said: “I’m not going to make the decision, but I wouldn’t rush.”

Earlier this week, Mr. McConnell rejected a request from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) to hear from four witnesses—including former national-security adviser John Bolton —who had been called by the House but were directed by Mr. Trump not to testify.

Let Them Wait

Pelosi wants an agreement from McConnell, but there would be nothing binding about such an agreement.

My Assessment: The public would quickly get tired of Pelosi having charges and not submitting them.

If that assessment is accurate, McConnell can get whatever he wants, just by waiting. Thus, I agree with this call by Senator John Cornyn.

We don’t care whether they never come,” Cornyn told reporters, holding his hand up to his head like a gun. “It’s kind of like, don’t make me do this.”

A delay in sending over articles of impeachment could put Democrats from competitive districts in further peril. Some of the 31 House Democrats representing districts that Mr. Trump won in 2016 said that they hoped the delay didn’t persist.

Pelosi Has Three Options

  1. Sit on this forever, looking like a fool.
  2. Sit on this long enough to make a fool out of herself, then send it to the Senate.
  3. Change her mind quickly, then send it to the Senate.

Take your pick, but I have the order of likelihood as 3-2-1.

Then, although Trump favors a circus, I expect a short trial, perhaps with a very small number of witnesses that Republicans can destroy, followed by a quick dismissal of the charges.

Why?

Witnesses are unpredictable, the fewer the better to minimize uncertainty.

That is the least risky path for Republicans and even some Democrat Senators may see it the same way.

Synopsis

Ultimately, impeachment is headed nowhere. Meanwhile, the process is on an uncertain, entertaining path.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (34)
No. 1-12
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"Witnesses are unpredictable"

...

"You Can't Handle The Truth!"

Try me.

Porschephile
Porschephile

The very fact that Pelosi wants to delay sending it over proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the impeachment is purely political and has no basis in law.

Latkes
Latkes

Nice circus in the banana republic of US.

Sleemo
Sleemo

Dysfunctional national government -- a libertarian's dream.

SMF
SMF

Not long ago I found the story about the guest list for Trump's wedding to Melania. Hillary was front and center, along with many other newscaster, including Couric and Matt Lauer.

That they attended his wedding and then turned on him just says so much in my book.

Ditto with an impeachment in search of a crime. If the case was so airtight, Pelosi would have sent the papers over already.

CzarChasm-Reigns
CzarChasm-Reigns

Hmmm, McConnell's FAKE Senate Trial... OR the King Chaos CIRCUS Sideshow?

Republicans must be asking themselves... do we shoot ourselves in the left or right foot?

stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

" It's only third time in history a president has been impeached." I have to correct you there, Mish. So far it is only half of an impeachment process, and if Nancy is afraid to send it over for the other half, it is NOT an impeachment. If she does send it to Mitch I would not blame him for wasting the least amount of time on the stupidity, even though I would like to see Little Adam Schitt and the fake weaselblower et al called to testify and be questioned, plus the Senators pointing out that the so-called offenses are not impeachable offenses. If the dems think they have any leverage with that, it is just more of the continuing stupidity.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

When the Mueller report was released many said there would be no impeachment. Impeachment happen. Now the same many are saying it will go nowhere. Who is say what can happen. I can tell you by mid-January more evidence will emerge that will make the same many look at things differently.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Decadence phase playing out in front of our eyes. Impeachment is a Heavy Power to wield in response to Heavy Abuse of Power by a Rogue President. And it's good to use the two-Houses system to prevent overly frothy partisan feeding frenzy use of that Power.

But this is such a petty, flimsy, decepticon-ridden use of that Power that all they have done is tarnish everyone involved with it. So, yes, it is a stain on Trump's legacy, but it also a stain on theirs, and their successors will find they have less dignity and respect themselves.

But this has been going on steadily since 1913, if not the 1860's. I guess once they shot Lincoln it was doomed. America benefited from a disease-prone, low tech indigenous population occupying huge terrain ripe for the picking. And then the industrial revolution picked up steam, no end of new people from developed countries could trek out there to build new lives and because they were starting from such low levels in essentially virgin territory, there was a huge boom based on both immigration-fueled population expansion and trade - both domestic and international, both Pacific and Atlantic. But that whole boom phase has been more or less over since the US took over the Empire from the UK during the Great War of 1913-1948. Growth is no longer so easy to come by - at least real growth. New toys simply redistributes cash, status, ways of doing things but isn't all that fundamentally 'growthy.'

All world models depend upon perpetual growth to thrive, including the Chinese one. The sustainability challenge is a very real one, but right now that discussion is confused and obfuscated by absurd climate catastrophe superstitions which muddy the waters. Because the real challenge has more about sustainability of economies and cultures than natural resources per se.

In any case, if they are serious about getting rid of Trump via impeachment, clearly the way it is now won't cut it. But they know that already.

So expect some really nasty stories about him to come out during the Holidays so they can get at least 4 spineless RINO's to vote some sort of majority motion regarding impeachment, or something to make it hard for R's to stand and fight and rather give way under the guise of 'doing the honorable thing' of 'keeping their oaths.' They have those Articles of Impeachment ready to go. Now they have to change the story since clearly that contained in those two Articles are just the initial pretexts. Something more will soon be forthcoming...

And so it goes...

wootendw
wootendw

"Trump favors a circus. Amusingly, so does Pelosi. There are people on all sides that want to call witnesses. Pelosi hopes this will backfire on Trump. But Trump believes it will backfire on Biden and the Democrats. Both sides cannot be right."

Both sides are wary of what might happen if Americans find out that those Maidan snipers, who shot protesters on both sides in the 2014 coup, were working for the "new coalition". That's 'US'.

Trump wouldn't mind a 'circus' but a lot of Republicans would.

Rvrider
Rvrider

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

a2plusb2
a2plusb2

The public isn't demanding an impeachment. So what do the Democrats do with it?


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