It seems congressional Democrats are going to fast-track their impeachment inquiry, with hearings in a matter of weeks and possibly an impeachment vote before Thanksgiving.
According to a Wall Street Journal report late last week, the inquiry will be restricted to President Trump’s alleged effort to enlist the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, to the exclusion of the grab-bag of other potential offenses congressional Democrats are investigating. Already on Friday, three House committees issued subpoenas to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for records of interactions between Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters “the facts will determine the timeline.” But they won’t. Democrats have already made up their mind that Trump is guilty, so they should just hold the impeachment vote now, this very week, and get it over with. Spare us the sham hearings, the “investigations,” and the ridiculous grandstanding that will surely accompany them.
After all, Democratic leaders decided on November 9, 2016, that they had to remove Trump from office. They just weren’t sure how. Their first big push for impeachment, prompted by the firing of former FBI director James Comey, didn’t pan out in part because as time went on it became obvious that Comey’s actions were far more inappropriate than anything Trump had done.
Then there was the two-year-long investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller that Democrats and their media courtesans assured us would prove that Trump colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. But in April, after 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, 500 hundred witnesses, 13 requests to foreign governments by Mueller and at least one letter from Democratic senators pressuring the Ukrainian government to cooperate with the probe, the whole thing fizzled out.
Upon the release of the Mueller report in April, Democrats’ carefully crafted narrative fell apart. The report found there had been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and the entire thing began to look like a conspiracy theory—or worse, a hoax perpetrated by Democratic leadership and a pliant mainstream media. Democrats fulminated that the president had obstructed justice, but most Americans could plainly see that the entire thing had been a political hit job, not a serious investigation.
Democrats Are Far Out on a Limb
Now congressional Democrats have settled on a last-ditch effort before the 2020 election: a half-baked accusation about this July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. As with the Mueller probe, the media are all-in for Democrats’ narrative that the transcript of the call and the whistleblower complaint clearly show Trump pressuring Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
The problem for Democrats is that, unlike during the Mueller probe, Trump was able to release the transcript and the complaint for everyone to read for themselves. If Democrats think that what those documents show is reason enough to impeach a duly-elected president, or even open an impeachment investigations, they’re in for a rude awakening. There’s simply no substance to the accusation, and most people know it.
Some Democrats probably suspect they’re out on a limb. That’s why Pelosi, who has resisted calls for impeachment for years, won’t even hold a formal vote to authorize the Judiciary Committee to investigate if impeachment is warranted. She knows that even if she has the 218 votes to authorize such an inquiry, it would be an entirely partisan vote and undermine the credibility of the impeachment probe by exposing it for the political hit job that it is.
But the Democratic Party’s base is insisting that Trump be impeached, and the base, not Pelosi, is in charge now. Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris joined other Democrats in calling for a formal impeachment inquiry into U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In other words, they wanted to undo 2016 and everything that’s happened since—like it never happened. They want a total do-over, only this time they’ll be in charge.
Given this reality, the least Democrats could do is spare us the empty spectacle and just hold the vote. The reason they won’t, and the reason Pelosi is pushing for a fast-track impeachment, isn’t because “facts are determining the timeline,” but because they don’t want their impeachment charade to drag on into the 2020 primary season. Pelosi admitted as much Friday when she told an audience in Atlantic City that the impeachment inquiry “has nothing to do with the election.”
Unfortunately for Pelosi and Democrats, impeachment now has everything to do with the election. Their message to the American people is now unmistakable: you were wrong in 2016, and we’re going to set things right. You couldn’t be trusted to elect the right president, so we’re canceling Trump’s election.
Okay, then. Get on with it, and let the American people decide in 2020 whether impeachment had anything to do with the election.