As we speak, the House Judiciary Committee is ratifying two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Next week they’ll be approved by the full House. Even if the Republican Senate acquits Trump, impeachment will be yet another albatross around his neck as he limps into the 2020 election with historically weak poll numbers. But this week and next week will be just the beginning of what Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are about to do to Trump.
Nancy Pelosi is cementing these two articles of impeachment right now because she wants to be able to show concrete progress in holding Donald Trump accountable for his crimes. She can’t kick him out of office, but she can impeach him, and that’s humiliating for him, and she’s done it to him. But this is just a mile marker, so to speak. Consider that Pelosi and the House Democrats are still fiercely fighting in court to get their hands on Trump’s tax returns and the redacted portions of the Mueller report, to force current White House insiders to publicly testify, and so on. They aren’t continuing to pursue these matters just for kicks.
These various legal battles are each going to play out on their own timetable, according to the whim of each judge involved. Democrats are going to win them all; it’s just a matter of when. Early in 2020, at least some of these battles should finish coming to a head. Nancy Pelosi is going to find herself with a truckload and maybe a goldmine, of new evidence of even more serious Trump crimes. You’d better believe she’s going to put it to use once she gets her hands on it.
Whenever that time comes, Nancy Pelosi will have a number of options. She can hold new televised House hearings as the 2020 election is heating up, and keep laying out the new evidence of his crimes. She can bring new articles of impeachment – even if he’s already been acquitted on the two existing articles. Will she take it that far? We don’t know. She surely doesn’t know yet either, because she doesn’t know what evidence she’ll have her hands on or when. But there’s a reason she held back from introducing some of the articles that were being floated. The bottom line is that she’s just getting started when it comes to dismantling Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report