Following the House vote on two articles of impeachment earlier this month, an exact timeline of when the trial in the upper chamber will begin remains up in the air. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come under fire for getting “cold feet” on impeachment. She’s demanding concessions in exchange for the articles.
“Some House Democrats imply they are withholding the articles for some kind of leverage, so they can dictate the Senate process to senators,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I admit, I’m not sure what leverage there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want.”
According to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Republicans may be assuming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even wants a trial. The author, Kimberley Strassel, questioned why Democrats would want to hold one. She claimed the inquiry was riddled with procedural gamesmanship and shifting definitions of “high crimes.”
Its possible Democrats could go after more evidence of alleged wrongdoing before transmitting the articles, which could potentially drag on well into the 2020 elections. If that’s the strategy being pursued, however, it’s likely their plan could backfire.
“If you impeach a president if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing. We have a third branch that deals with conflicts of the other two branches, and what comes out of there and what you do with it is the very definition of legitimacy.” –Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law – George Washington University
After the Senate acquitted Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial in 1999, his approval rating soared. The same fate could befall President Trump as it’s virtually impossible the upper chamber will have the two-thirds majority needed to remove him from office. This could potentially boost his re-election chances, which is a sentiment that has been echoed by Republicans on Capitol Hill.