When Donald Trump viciously attacked Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony on Friday, it made her look honest and him look guilty. It ensured the House Democrats would win the weekend news cycle. It made me wonder why Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was going on Face The Nation. It wouldn’t be just to gloat about how Trump blew it. What did she have up her sleeve? Now we know the answer.
Nancy Pelosi used her appearance to drive home two points. First, she pushed the narrative that what Donald Trump has done is far worse than what Richard Nixon has done, and Nixon at least had the dignity to resign. In so doing, she was trying to bait Trump into announcing that he’s refusing to resign, which would shift the public narrative to a debate about his resignation. Thus far he hasn’t taken the bait on that one.
Pelosi’s second gambit was far more successful. She pushed the notion of Trump testifying in House impeachment hearings. His answers would either be confessions to crimes or provable lies, which would hand a huge win to House Democrats. This morning Trump acknowledged that Pelosi suggested “that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”
This was a very stupid move on Donald Trump’s part. If he goes through with testifying, even in writing, he’ll be validating the impeachment process and incriminating/perjuring himself. And if he ends up not testifying, he’ll be handing House Democrats a huge talking point about how he said he would testify and then he decided he was too afraid to go through with it. No wonder Nancy Pelosi went on television. She baited Trump hook, line, and sinker.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report