It appeared for a brief moment last week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was ready to shut down the Democrats’ impeachment circus, but all indications are he is still reticent to fold their tent.
The Kentucky Republican backed a resolution that would allow the Senate to dismiss two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump if the House of Representatives refuses to transmit them within 25 days of its impeachment vote.
It was introduced by Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley last Monday in an effort to garner support to change the Senate rules in the face of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to encroach on their sole authority to run the impeachment trial.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has been pushing for more Ukraine-related documents and testimony from key Trump administration officials to bolster the Democrats’ rail thin impeachment case against the president.
Pelosi has been withholding the articles for more than three weeks in an effort to bully Republicans in the Senate into agreeing to conduct Trump’s impeachment trial according to her rules.
The California Democrat refused to commit to a timeline on Friday in a letter to her caucus, noting she would discuss it with her members at their Tuesday meeting.
By Sunday she was back to playing puppeteer again with McConnell. She is hell bent on wrenching concessions from him to bolster her credentials as a ‘political maestro’ and save face before her party and the media after Republican senators sided with McConnell on trial procedures.
She is still busy smelling roses and taking her own sweet time to determine when to send over the articles of impeachment while the nation waits.
“We will determine in our meeting when we send them over. But it — we have never — I have always said I would send them over. So there shouldn’t be any mystery to that,” she said during an interview on ABC’s This Week.
McConnell won the support of moderates in his party for a Senate trial that follows precedent set during the 1999 impeachment trial of former president Bill Clinton. A second resolution would be debated later in the trial to determine whether to subpoena more witnesses.
Trump on Sunday said a Senate impeachment trial would only give the “partisan Democrat Witch Hunt” credibility. “Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!” he tweeted.
House Democrats voted Dec. 18 to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, accusing him of using his office for personal political gain when he urged president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter on a July 25th phone call.
The call summary, released by the White House, shows no conditions were set and no pressure was applied to Zelensky to coerce an investigation. Democratic House lawmakers also accuse Trump of blocking their efforts to obtain documents and witnesses.
McConnell is battling forces on several fronts, including moderate Republicans who at their core don’t support Trump, even in the face of a rampaging House Speaker dead set on unraveling separation of powers under the Constitution. He also has to weigh the demands of an unjustly accused president who wants justice, vulnerable Republican senators who are up for reelection in 2020 and meandering polling in public support for impeachment.
Despite these challenges the Senate majority leader must act decisively and put his foot down in the face of these tyrannical Democrats. Pelosi’s time has expired. If he opens the door to her ‘shampeachment’ it will only unleash a Pandora’s Box of mayhem from weak, power-hungry Pelosi ahead of an election that requires sobering reflection on issues like war, peace and the economy.