As the House impeachment process was playing out, Palmer Report explained that Nancy Pelosi was holding all the cards. She could send the articles of impeachment to the Senate now, or sit on them. She could send the two articles of impeachment now, and after the Republican Senate marries itself to acquitting Trump, send more articles later.
There’s a specific reason we predicted more articles of impeachment might be coming: Pelosi and the House Democrats have been fighting ongoing court battles over Trump’s tax returns, the Mueller grand jury materials, and Don McGahn’s testimony. Pelosi didn’t drop these court cases when she was done ratifying the two articles of impeachment. She’s still fighting them for a reason. Now a new court filing is explicitly spelling out that reason.
Lawyers for House Democrats are now arguing in court that they still want McGahn’s testimony because they could end up using it as the basis of additional articles of impeachment, beyond the two that they’ve already ratified. This doesn’t guarantee that more articles will end up happening. But it does spell out that House Democrats are indeed pursuing this additional evidence because they’re looking at the specific possibility of additional articles.
This makes things even more complicated for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell. Trump is pushing McConnell to hold a speedy sham trial and rubber-stamp acquittal. But that will require McConnell to make concessions to Pelosi just to get his hands on the two articles of impeachment. Now McConnell has to consider the scenario in which he acquits Trump now, and then in a few months he gets saddled with even more articles and has to hold another trial. The more McConnell has to guess about what Pelosi might do, the less likely McConnell is to guess correctly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report