Yesterday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she would be holding a press conference and taking questions after her closed-door meeting with the House Democratic caucus. The media then confirmed that the press conference would be about Donald Trump’s impeachment. Then everyone tuned in to see what she had to say about impeachment, and… nothing. So what happened?
Nancy Pelosi must have been expecting to come out of her meeting and announce something major, such as a full House vote on the impeachment inquiry, or else she wouldn’t have played up the press conference. What she heard from House Democrats during that meeting must have been enough to convince her not to go through with it. So we all tuned in to hear her say nothing about impeachment in particular. Here’s the thing though.
Right now the impeachment process is being driven by the onslaught of current and former Trump administration officials who are testifying behind closed doors about Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal, and the corresponding media leaks about the scandal. That alone has been enough to keep impeachment poll numbers steadily rising, before the House is ready to move on to articles of impeachment – which won’t happen until they get past the phase where witnesses have to testify in secret in order to preserve the sanctity of the testimony process.
In the meantime, holding a full House vote on an impeachment inquiry won’t do anything to speed up the impeachment process. It would be nothing more than a formality, to confirm that they should be doing what they’re already doing. The only reason to hold such a vote would be for partisan reasons, and whatever went on in that meeting yesterday, Pelosi must have concluded that there wasn’t a good reason to do it. What really matters when it comes to impeachment right now is the ongoing testimony from increasingly high-ranking officials who keep coming forward.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report