McConnell Gave Democrats A Sword
Category: Op/EdBy: john-russell • 7 months ago • 50 comments
Richard Nixon famously said " I gave them a sword" , indicating his own impeachable behavior made it possible for him to be forced from office.
Mitch McConnell has given the Democrats a sword too, albeit it in a little bit different context. When McConnell said that he was co-ordinating the Trump impeachment trial in the Senate with the White House he opened the door for the Democrats to take a different approach than originally planned. Pelosi is now justified if she chooses to never send the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber. And there will be an opportunity to use the lack of a "fair trial" in the Senate as the reason.
There is a limited amount of gain for anti-Trump forces in having a Senate trial. Ouster requires 66 votes, and that seems highly unlikely with Republicans bowing in fealty to the president*. By not sending the articles to McConnell and the GOP majority, the Democrats can reserve the issue for repeated use. It can also strategically present information related to Trump misdeeds over the course of weeks and months. This strategy will be justifiably available as long as McConnell insists on having a trial pre-determined favorable to Trump . Obviously saying that the impeachment trial is being co-ordinated with the defendant indicates an unfair proceeding.
This is what Trump is facing - he has been impeached. His political allies have vowed to rig the pending trial. He will be vilified by history not only for his impeachable conduct, but also for the fact that he demanded the trial be rigged. If Pelosi does not send the articles to the Senate and that is where it stands, Trump will also be vilified by history for tampering with the constitutional process. And there will be nothing he can do about it.
According to Trump HE is the victim, but the only people who believe that are his followers, and as we know they are a distinct minority of Americans.
Again, the Democrats can not only claim the the Senate trial will be rigged for Trump, they can essentially prove it.
"Exactly how we go forward, I'm going to coordinate with the president's lawyers"
The Democrats should seriously consider keeping the articles of impeachment against Trump in suspension until the Senate and the White House agree to have House chosen witnesses. But there is also an argument for keeping them in the House no matter what, and using the issue to attack Trump down the line.