Donald Trump is still the president of the United States, but the past week has revealed that his power is fading. The week began with Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling The Washington Post on Monday that the House will consider impeachment if there is “something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.” It is not hard to imagine that something “compelling and overwhelming” will arise, given how much the investigations have already produced. But when push comes to shove, will Congress care more about protecting Trump or the truth?
There is certainly cause for concern that the “bipartisan” part of Pelosi’s impeachment test could fail. But there is also now some reason to be optimistic. Republicans in Congress made it clear this week that they are not afraid to work with Democrats to rebuke Trump on a range of topics.
On Wednesday, the Senate rebuked Trump by passing a second resolution to stop U.S. military aid for the war in Yemen. The 54-46 vote effectively scolded Trump for blindly defending Saudi Arabia in the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi and its shameful coverup. A House resolution is now expected to pass after one that passed in February hit a procedural snag.
The bipartisan rebuking of Donald Trump continued two more times on Thursday. First, the Senate voted 59-41 to overturn Trump’s national emergency declaration over the southern border. Trump’s declaration came after he threw a tantrum and “proudly” shut down the government for a record 35 days. The Senate resolution, following a 245-182 House vote in February, means that Congress is now shutting down Trump for veering way out of his lane. Predictably, Trump fired back on Friday with a veto. But the fact it is his first veto is yet another sign that Trump’s grip on government is slipping.
Thursday’s other rebuke of Trump came in the form of a rare unanimous House resolution about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In a 420-0 vote (with four GOP members voting “present”), the House called for the Attorney General to release Mueller’s upcoming report to the public. This non-binding resolution does not have the power of law, yet the House GOP decided it was important to send Trump a unified demand for transparency. Now, as a new week begins, Trump continues to sit in the Oval Office. But the chair he is sitting on looks much less like a throne.