With their poll numbers sliding and the GOP holding the cards in the Senate, Democrat leaders in the House — including, of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) — have decided to play the one card left to them. They’re stalling.
It doesn’t matter that recent precedent indicates they should send the bills of impeachment over to the Senate immediately.
Nor do they seem concerned that by postponing a Senate trial against President Donald Trump, they’re putting the country through more political stasis.
The only thing that seems to matter to the Democrats is waiting and hoping the GOP will cave — and let Dems run the show in the Senate as they did in the House.
The GOP is not about to do that.
So they can exert all the pressure they want, but a postponement by the Dems after their “hurry up and impeach” moves earlier is sure to further irritate the American people, who simply want to get on with their business.
A Thursday statement by Rep. Hoyer indicated that “Democrats must discuss a last-ditch gambit to delay sending articles of impeachment to the Senate and prevent the Republican-controlled chamber from summarily discarding the case against Trump,” as Politico noted. “Hoyer said Democratic colleagues have approached him in recent days, citing an op-ed by constitutional lawyer Laurence Tribe in which he calls on Democrats to delay sending impeachment articles to the Senate until [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell agrees to run a fairer process.”
Tribe has been advising Democrats throughout the impeachment process to date.
In remarks to reporters, Hoyer directly commented on a Washington Post op-ed that Tribe wrote: “People have read that article, discussed it. People have come up to me, discussed it. We will talk about it in some point in time. It’s within the speaker’s purview, obviously, she’ll make that decision. And I also think she’ll do it in discussions with McConnell and [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer.”
Tribe was the odds-on favorite for the first Supreme Court nomination in a supposed Hillary Clinton presidency. That he remains in academia to this day must not sit well with the leftist legal activist, this analyst believes.
Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor, takes issue with the Democratic delay tactics, by the way — and with his fellow legal scholar as well. Dershowitz wrote on Thursday that he thinks it’s “difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional” than Pelosi’s withholding of the impeachment articles against Trump, as Fox News noted in a piece.
Given all of this, the impeachment process may span well into January 2020 and beyond.
But if it goes into February, then it runs smack into 2020 Democrat nomination contests in both Iowa and New Hampshire, thus sucking up much of the press attention from the Dems’ primary candidates.
Look for Pelosi and Hoyer, if they decide to delay into the medium term, to wrangle and bluff until somewhere after Super Tuesday in March.
By then, the issue will start to hamper the Dem primary frontrunner, whoever he or she may be at that point — and the Dems’ hand will have been forced.