Nope, No Impeachment Here! (WINK, WINK)
Can we all just take a breath here and ask ourselves WHAT EXACTLY DOES A WIN LOOK LIKE? A real life win, not some fantasy where Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Jim Jordan, and Devin Nunes all lose in 2020, Justices Thomas and Alito announce their retirement, and President Warren/Harris/Sanders/Buttigieg replaces them with Neal Katyal and Preet Bharara. Because we all know damn well that this Senate isn't going to impeach Donald Trump, no matter what the House does. Jesus Christ himself could descend from Heaven in a golden chariot and write "Impeach His Orange Ass" in fire across the sky, and Republicans would still insist that President Pussgrabber was God's holy anointed leader and Golden Chariot Jesus is Fake News. He's not going away.
Which is not to say that we should NOT impeach Donald Trump. As is so often the case, Elizabeth Warren is our spirit animal here.
Damn right! The rule of law has to mean something, or else as a country we're totally screwed.
The question is how to do it. Because if we force every member of Congress to walk the plank and vote on impeachment in July or August without laying the groundwork, the Senate will kill it and then the whole thing will be over. Trump will get to spend the subsequent 14 months saying the Russia/obstruction inquiry is settled and he was exonerated, like, even more than by the Mueller Report! Meanwhile, Democrats like Abigail Spanberger, Abby Finkenauer, Lucy McBath, and Colin Allred will have to defend their impeachment votes in swing districts. And Trump will have a clear field to dominate the nightly news howling about MS-13 rapists at his pitchfork rallies.
Or, we could drag this out for a year, permanently denying Trump a good news cycle by holding hearings at least once a week, force Evan to liveblog continuously, meticulously lay out a case for impeachment, and hang Trump like an albatross around the neck of every Republican, all while baiting that jackass into acting like a raving lunatic every day between now and November 3, 2020. As Nancy Pelosi said last night in a letter to her Democratic colleagues:
While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth. It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.
As we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional and needed reforms to protect our democracy, we must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact.
Because we still have not seen the full Mueller report, I have enclosed the bicameral letter Democratic leaders sent rejecting Attorney General Barr's effort to provide the remainder of the report to only a few members of Congress, and only in a classified setting. We insist on the public's right to know, so that the American people can learn the truth and Congress can make our decision on how to proceed.
Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the President has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds. It is also clear that the congressional Republicans have an unlimited appetite for such low standards. The GOP should be ashamed of what the Mueller report has revealed, instead of giving the President their blessings.
Yes, it would be extremely satisfying if the Speaker banged her gavel this morning and shouted IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER. It would also be distinctly unhelpful, since the Congress is supposed to be fulfilling its constitutional mandate to impartially investigate and bring charges if the sitting president is accused of high crimes and misdemeanors. (The Senate, if there are charges, conducts the trial.) So how about we stop bitching that Nancy Pelosi hates progressives for a hot second and think about how to get from here to where we want to be. Maybe we can start with some subpoenas?
Oh, lookie loo! House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler just subpoenaed Don McGahn to testify publicly on May 21. Donald Trump finally worked out that the former White House Counsel blabbed about the eleventy hundred times the president tried to obstruct justice, and he is pissed. This weekend, Trump threw a tantrum and fired McGahn's law firm Jones Day, which will no doubt endear him to his former employee. How freaked out is Donald Trump at the prospect of Don McGahn testifying about all the "crazy shit" he refused to do for the president on live television?
Okay, that's enough of that.
Has Rudy Giuliani told Trump that Bannon's Hot Tub Time Machine Executive Privilege Defense will magically dissolve everything McGahn said in a bathtub of meth? Because it already appeared unredacted in the Mueller report -- that toothpaste is never going back in the tube. McGahn can hand over those notes which never existed, and then he can look into the camera and tell Mr. Nadler all about the times Trump ordered him to fire Robert Mueller, then ordered him to falsify the record with a memo to the file saying that it never happened. Sounds like fun, huh?
You know, if we were a betting man, we'd wager that Reince Priebus's time in the Judiciary Committee barrel is coming soon, too. And don't forget, Mueller and Barr are both scheduled to testify before Congress next month as well. Gosh, if the House were revving up an impeachment referral, those four guys are exactly who they might start with. If they were doing impeachment. WHICH THEY'RE NOT, OF COURSE.
Hey, remember that funny time when Steve Bannon told Michael Wolff, "They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on live TV"? LOL, can't wait for them to get that far down the witness list. Who do you think will go first with DJ? Adam Schiff? Elijah Cummings? Auntie Maxine? Jerry Nadler? Sounds like DJ might have to come back a few times, just to give everyone an adequate opportunity to ask their questions. Because by then Chairman Schiff will have seen the redacted portions of the Mueller Report. And Chairman Cummings will probably have pried the Trump Organization's financials loose from the accountants. And Chairman Waters will have gotten all the Trump loan documents from Deutsche Bank. And Chairman Nadler dropped subpoenas on every witness in the Mueller investigation, which will have kicked up God only knows what. World's stupidest omelette, COMIN' UP!
Yeah, we're a long way away from impeachment. Hours and hours and hours of excruciating, news-dominating, Trump-baiting hearings away. Take your time, Congressmen. Take your time.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.