Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced to the media today that she’s “done” with Donald Trump when it comes to the insults he keeps hurling at her. She explained that although her popularity seems to rise each time she and Trump engage in yet another war of words, she doesn’t “even want to talk about him” anymore. It’s not difficult to parse why.
Pelosi, you see, was buying time when she announced that Trump was “unwell” and should consider taking a “leave of absence.” She knew that House Democrats were still slogging it out in court when it came to forcing witnesses to testify and evidence to be turned over, and the public was clearly growing impatient – so she used her words to knock Trump off his game and keep everyone else’s head in the game. But this week that changed.
Yesterday the House Democrats held an opening round of quasi-impeachment hearings against Donald Trump, beginning with a slate of star witnesses like John Dean. These were all voluntary witnesses, but it’s a sign that the Democrats expect to soon succeed in forcing the non-cooperating witnesses to show up and testify as well. They held Don McGahn in civil contempt today, for instance. It’ll be a short amount of time before a federal judge orders McGahn to testify, and then we’ll see if McGahn is more afraid of Trump or afraid of jail.
Tomorrow the House Democrats are holding two separate hearings. The first one is to hold Wilbur Ross (for the first time) and William Barr (again) in contempt of Congress. The second one is a rare public House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation. Things are rolling now. Nancy Pelosi no longer has to buy time by verbally bopping Donald Trump in the face, and she knows it. Besides, at this point, Pelosi can drive Trump more crazy by refusing to keep firing back at him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report