Even as a few dozen House Republicans played out a sophomoric, bizarre, and illegal stunt today by storming the secure SCIF room in an attempt at preventing a key impeachment witness from testifying, questions arose about what Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats would do in response. Here’s the thing: Pelosi wasn’t there.
Nancy Pelosi’s brother just passed away, and she attended his funeral in Baltimore today. We don’t know if Donald Trump and this cadre of House Republicans chose today for their stunt specifically because Pelosi was out of town. But at the least, they made their decision today with the knowledge that Pelosi was at her brother’s funeral. Just wait til she gets home.
We believe House Democrats handled today’s GOP stunt correctly. They handed the matter off to the Sergeant at Arms, and waited for the nonsense to be over, before going ahead with the impeachment testimony later in the day. This ensured that today’s media narrative was about Trump and his Republican goons acting in a way that made him look guilty. If House Democrats had gone ahead and had these offending Republicans arrested, the headlines would have instead been about whether they had overreached.
But now that the smoke has cleared, it’s time for House Democrats to ensure that there are indeed consequences for this illegal House GOP stunt. Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson has written a letter to the Sergeant at Arms, asking him to carry out whatever consequences are deemed appropriate. This is the right way to handle things, officially. But just wait til Nancy Pelosi gets home. We have no idea what she’ll do to put down this attempted GOP coup in the House, but we sure wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report