For the past several weeks, the media and the public have largely been hung up on the simplistic notion that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats only had two options: send the articles of impeachment to the Senate now and watch Trump be automatically acquitted, or hold off sending them. Palmer Report pointed out that it’s not that simple, and sure enough, we’re being reminded of that.
Nancy Pelosi holds all the cards, because even after they get ratified today, she can sit on these two articles of impeachment for as short or long of a period of time as she wants. Depending on how her ongoing court battles over testimony and evidence go, she can come back after holiday recess and hold more hearings on additional articles of impeachment. Or she can send these two articles now, wait for Senate Republicans to incriminate themselves by corruptly acquitting Trump, and then send more articles later, once she has the additional evidence.
Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, is now openly talking about the possibility of ratifying these two articles of impeachment but then not sending them to the Senate. Hoyer is Pelosi’s loyal deputy, and he wouldn’t be saying this publicly unless she was okay with it being said. Politico is inexplicably characterizing this as a “last-ditch gambit” but in reality, it’s simply one of the options that House Democrats have surely been considering from the start. The kicker is that we still don’t know how Pelosi and the Democrats will play this – which means that Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump don’t know how the Democrats are going to play this either, which is the whole point.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report