In the lead-up to the passage of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, it was noted repeatedly by numerous House Democrats just how vital it was that Trump be impeached, convicted, and removed from office immediately for the good of the country and the integrity of the electoral system.
Yet, now a full week after those “urgent” articles were passed along strictly partisan lines, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still holding on to them and has yet to transmit them to the Senate for the next step in the process, in what increasingly appears to have been a shockingly bad political miscalculation, Breitbart reports.
To say Pelosi’s continued delay in forwarding the articles of impeachment to the Senate significantly undermines the supposed urgency of the matter would be a massive understatement.
Indeed, Breitbart shared just a small sampling of comments from the likes of Pelosi and other impeachment leaders like Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jerry Nalder (D-NY) — chairmen of the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees, respectively — which underscored their perception of the immediate threat posed by President Trump and why he simply had to be removed from office as quickly as possible.
In Pelosi’s own words, “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty.” That dire warning was uttered on Dec. 18, but now a full week later, nothing more has happened following the hurried vote to approve the articles.
Grasping for leverage
Ostensibly, Pelosi is holding on to the articles of impeachment as a way to gain “leverage” against the Republican-controlled Senate.
In a rather ironic twist, considering the basis for the impeachment of President Trump, Pelosi is demanding a “quid pro quo” wherein she has delayed transmission of the articles in exchange for being granted some measure of input on how the Republican majority in the Senate will conduct the trial.
As per the U.S. Constitution, however, she has no standing whatsoever to make such demands, as Article I, Section 3 of the founding document grants the Senate alone the “sole power” to conduct an impeachment trial, meaning the House speaker plays no role and has no say in how it is conducted.
Furthermore, it is entirely unclear what, if any, actual influence Pelosi may gain from withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate and delaying the “speedy trial” to which the president is guaranteed, again, as per the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
The Hill reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the day after the articles were passed in the House, told reporters, “It’s beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage.”
“The prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second-guessing whether they even want to go to trial,” he added. “They said impeachment was so urgent that it could not even wait for due process but now they’re content to sit on their hands. It is comical.”
It is indeed comical, though not in a humorous way. By Pelosi’s own standard, she is being “derelict in her duty” and is blatantly violating the Constitution by withholding the articles of impeachment and preventing the commencement of a Senate trial. The nonsense needs to end and she needs to be held accountable for it.