Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said on Wednesday that she doesn’t “see what good” holding onto the articles of impeachment does.
But on Thursday, she stunned Democrats and Republicans by almost immediately backtracking, according to Breitbart.
Feinstein’s turnaround sends a message to other Democrats: dissent is not to be tolerated.
Pelosi rules with an iron fist
Nancy Pelosi is fully committed to impeachment and has been attempting to leverage the Senate to play by her rules by withholding the articles of impeachment. The game is now reportedly over, as Pelosi told House Democrats in a letter on Friday that she’s planning to transmit the articles next week.
However, the nearly month-long holdup created clear frustration on the part of her Democrat colleagues. According to Bloomberg, Feinstein said on Wednesday: “If we’re going to do it, she should send them over. I don’t see what good delay does.”
And Feinstein wasn’t alone in her complaints. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) also said on Tuesday that Pelosi needs to send the articles to the Senate, according to Fox.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle are clearly fed up and have been ready for Pelosi to stop grandstanding for quite some time now.
However, after her Wednesday outburst, Feinstein fell back in line on Thursday and retracted her statement, saying: “Given the importance of this additional evidence, it’s understandable that Speaker Pelosi has delayed transmitting articles of impeachment until the contours of a Senate trial are known.”
Nearly all Democrats who publicly called for the articles to be moved forward retracted their statements very rapidly. It appears that Nancy Pelosi is in charge of Democrats both in the House and the Senate.
Pelosi backs down
Of course, Pelosi may be able to keep Democrats in line, but she can’t control the Republicans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Wednesday: “There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure. We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over. The Senate has made its decision.”
Impeachment has clearly created fractures in the Democratic Party. Pelosi as finally caved and set a tentative date to advance the articles, but the damage is already done.