House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s pronouncement Thursday that his committee has begun “formal impeachment proceedings” against President Donald Trump has been met with yawns at the White House and throughout the news media.
The mean spirted, stocky House chairman is running out of ammunition to fuel his psychotic, power-driven campaign of hate against his nemesis, Trump.
So consumed is he with driving the president from office that his animus may have contributed to his fainting spell inside a school gymnasium in Manhattan in May, leading to a brief hospitalization.
Democrats had hoped that a blue wave would have swept the Republicans out of office in both houses of Congress last November, fueled by the largest turnout for a midterm election since the 1960s, but it did not materialize. They only took back the House of Representatives with a slim majority, to their dismay.
Trump is still ensconced in the White House with a workable Republican majority in the Senate, a robust Republican minority in the House and a majority of gubernatorial offices, so Democrats have been busy looking for some reason to impeach him.
The special counsel investigation, led by Robert Mueller III was convened in 2017 to determine whether Trump and his associates were colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 elections. It later expanded to consider whether Trump was obstructing justice.
Nadler’s impeachment train ran off the road in March when the 18-month probe ended after finding no evidence of collusion. Attorney General William Barr, with the assistance of former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, concluded that Mueller didn’t find enough evidence to pursue an obstruction charge.
Nadler has been the face of a massive congressional investigation probing Trump for corruption and abuse of power. Democrats continue to seek information into whether he obstructed justice by interfering with the investigation after Mueller insisted he could not ‘exonerate’ the president on those potential crimes.
Nadler appeared on Fox News last month insisting, “The [Mueller] report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and we have to present — or let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there.”
His committee called Mueller to testify for hours last month. It was billed as the second Mueller-Trump rematch. Mueller’s mental state shocked the country. He was doddering and confused, declining or deflecting from answering questions over two hundred times, by CNN’s count.
He couldn’t explain many of the findings in his own report and appeared not to have written or read it. It was another devastating defeat for Nadler.
Democrats say evidence of impeachable crimes lie in the report’s findings that Trump repeatedly directed former White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire Mueller. The report also found that Trump ordered him to deny that he had made those demands.
They are also investigating whether Trump had a role in illegal hush-money payments to two women during his 2016 campaign and whether his businesses have money laundering ties to Russia.
Their numerous subpoenas for documents and testimonies of current and former White House officials are being thwarted and Trump has blocked handing over documents in 20 investigations. They have little or no means to enforce their subpoenas except for court intervention.
On Wednesday his committee filed a lawsuit against McGahn, aimed at forcing him to testify about key moments in the Mueller report. They have asked a federal court to force the release of grand jury information from Mueller’s investigation. They are also suing the administration to get Trump’s tax returns.
By now Nadler should have been worn out from digging through bags of the president’s dirty laundry but the indefatigable chairman is not ready to quit. He told CNN’s Erin Burnett Thursday that he “wasn’t waiting” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support. In frustration Democrats are now lurching toward impeachment based on phony, trumped up claims.
Nadler hopes impeachment will finally give him the grandiose sense of power and importance he craves by bringing down Trump. He would become a hero, straddling history like a colossus. But for now the stodgy house chairman trudges on, carrying the weight of Trump on his back while his virulent base watches with their lighted torches and pitchforks.