We told you Donald Trump’s impeachment was inevitable. We also predicted that the public calls for impeachment would start with fringe House Democrats who aren’t attached to the process, then graduate to members of the House Judiciary Committee (where impeachment begins), then to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and finally to the Speaker of the House. Remarkably, thanks to the events of last night, we’re suddenly approaching the next-to-last step in that hierarchy.
Donald Trump’s illegal demand that Don McGahn not show up for today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report, followed by McGahn’s announcement that he would indeed fail to show up, set off a chain of events that resulted in multiple members of the committee publicly calling for an impeachment inquiry against Trump to begin, and multiple more members – including Chairman Jerry Nadler – to privately make the impeachment case to Nancy Pelosi. She’s not quite ready to go there, but the events of today could change things fast.
We’ll see what legal consequences the House Judiciary Committee will fire off at Don McGahn once today’s hearing begins at 10am and he’s not there. Will they fine him? Arrest him? The committee clearly wants to take a big swing, so we’ll see one. The question is what Donald Trump will do once the committee begins ripping apart McGahn’s life for siding with Trump instead of siding with the law. Trump hates McGahn, but he really hates the idea of anyone interfering with his illegal orders, so his response later today could be outsized.
In any case, welcome to the impeachment show. Unless Donald Trump changes course and begins trying to deescalate things (which he won’t), we’re now all but locked into a path to impeachment. Trump forced the House Democrats’ hand, and now he’s going to get to find out what it’s like to be on the wrong side of a legally sound, highly popular, and investigating devastating impeachment process. It won’t be long now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report