Politics

The Move McConnell Could Make on Impeachment — Without Pelosi

Senate Majority leader 'shouldn't be subjecting himself to the extortion' of the House speaker, a respected legal analyst points out

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Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett had some interesting counsel for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday night during an appearance on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

“The Framers never envisioned a stunt pulled by a speaker of the House like Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holding onto articles of impeachment,” said Jarrett, fired up at Pelosi for what she’s been doing.

Related: It’s ‘No Longer Nancy Pelosi Calling the Shots’ on Impeachment

“Two decades ago, it was sent over immediately, within minutes. There was a vote to convey and transmit it,” added Jarrett.

“The Constitution is actually silent about that,” added Jarrett. “It doesn’t say that the Senate has to wait until it’s transmitted. It’s simply a Senate rule. Mitch McConnell shouldn’t be subjecting himself to the extortion of Nancy Pelosi. He can, beginning in January, simply alter the rule — or eliminate it entirely and set a date for an impeachment trial.”

Not bad at all.

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McConnell, likely needing only 51 votes, could change Senate rules — much as the Dems dramatically changed filibuster rules in 2013 by using “the nuclear option” to alter the then-60 vote rule when it came to executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments.

Given that, by all polls, the public is tiring of the entire congressional impeachment process and wants it to move along quickly, McConnell would probably get some Dem votes to add to the 53 in his own GOP caucus for such a move.

Related: Trump Will Be Ready for Any Senate Trial

It would take away Pelosi’s only card in the game — and get a trial and very likely acquittal out of the way before the GOP presidential race for the November 2020 election starts in earnest.

Pelosi would be seen as trying to hold up the trial for partisan political gain, even more than she is already — while McConnell and the GOP would be seen as fulfilling their constitutional duty and extricating the country from a continual headache and obstacle to a functioning federal government.

McConnell is known as the craftiest operator on Capitol Hill — and it’s likely his staff has presented this option to him recently.

If he launches it, he can expect the Dems to go ballistic with indignation and possibly even boycott the Senate trial.

For the GOP, the president, and the nation — so much the better.

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David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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