On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened to withhold sending the articles of impeachment against the president to the Senate.
That might be the dumbest strategy in the history of politics. Even by Pelosi standards, this is stupid.
She is threatening to withhold the articles from the Senate until the Democrats get the witnesses they want to testify to be called in front of the Senate trial. Pelosi also claims that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are incapable of conducting a fair trial because of their support of the president.
That is laughable coming from Pelosi, who, along with Schiff and Nadler, ran a completely partisan impeachment process. The outcome was pre-decided, so spare us the lecture on a fair process, Nancy.
Here is her strategy: threaten to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate unless she gets her way.
I am sure Mitch McConnell is laughing at her over a glass of Kentucky bourbon right now. Why would the Republicans want to vote on removing a Republican president from office? Obviously, they aren’t going to give the Democrats what they want, and why should they?
Pelosi clearly isn’t as brilliant a strategist as she thought.
However, as ridiculous as this is, there is another question that is being asked: is this even constitutional?
Legal scholars haven’t had to contemplate a Speaker of the House withholding impeachment articles from the Senate before, so it has them scrambling to make sense out of all the chaos.
What are the legal experts saying?
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote that, “Many scholars take the position that the Constitution requires a trial if there has been an impeachment.”
Even one of the Democrats impeachment witnesses says that the president isn’t impeached until the House sends the articles to the Senate.
Professor Noah Feldman wrote, “But an indefinite delay would pose a serious problem. Impeachment, as contemplated by the Constitution, does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial. Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial.”
Former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Meese and conservative talk show host Mark Levin tweeted: McConnell should immediately put an end to this and declare the impeachment null and void as the speaker has failed to complete the impeachment process by timely sending it to the Senate for adjudication…
“McConnell has no less authority to unilaterally make such a decision than Pelosi does to withhold the administrative notification of an impeachment to the Senate either indefinitely or [with] conditions. Her effort to cripple the presidency [and] blackmail the Senate must be defeated.”
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz argues that Pelosi’s actions would be unconstitutional. He wrote an article published on Newsmax in which he said, “The proper response is not to distort, ignore and violate the explicit terms of the Constitution that view impeachment by the House as a first step toward a trial by the Senate. An impeached president has a right to be tried and acquitted by the Senate.
Denying him and the American people that fundamental right might serve the temporary interests of the Democratic Party, and academics who support it, but would do violence to the rule of constitutional law that is supposed to serve all Americans, regardless of party or ideology.”
I will give Speaker Pelosi credit for making this whole impeachment sham a giant civics lesson. Because of her and her fellow Dems, Americans are having to learn about the Constitution and the original intentions of the Founding Fathers.
She has even introduced scenarios—like withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate— that had never been seriously contemplated before.
Thank you, Nancy…
I guess, in a way, you really WERE trying to do something good for the American people.