[SEE UPDATE BELOW]
As Guy mentioned on Twitter, it’s pretty much over. The white flag has been waved. This Trump impeachment push might finally be over—and it will be a significant loss to Democrats who have spent the better part of four years trying to impeach Donald Trump because he won a presidential election. The impeachment charges are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, two things that don’t sound partisan in the slightest, right? They’re vague. The reasoning is shoddy; it’s even weaker than the Russian collusion myth they tried to weaponize to impeach Trump. Now, it’s some quid pro quo allegation. Trump had a July phone call with the Ukrainians where he reportedly threatened to withhold aid from the country unless they opened a corruption probe into Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of Burisma, an energy company. Biden was there when daddy Biden was vice president, earning $50,000/month despite having zero experience in the energy sector. He was there allegedly selling access to top Obama officials while Joe was spearheading efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine.
The scores of witnesses Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) brought before the House Intelligence Committee didn’t back up their elaborate impeachment scheme. in fact, it only increased Trump’s approval ratings and made swing state voters look on this move with greater disapproval; it pushed key battleground areas further away from Democrats this year. Bravo. Oh, and the whistleblower report from which this big top event was spawned was from a CIA agent who is a registered Democrat and had contacted Schiff’s’ staff prior to filing the report. Schiff knew the contents beforehand and prepared to weaponize them in this effort. Yeah, not a witch hunt. This whistleblower also worked with a 2020 Democratic candidate. There is zero credibility with this impeachment nonsense. None. All it did was lower the bar for this political maneuver.
The House voted on the impeachment articles, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withheld them because she wanted assurances that the Republican Senate would hold a fair trial. That’s not her call. She stalled because she knew this faces certain death in the Senate. As Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal noted, this is “rolling impeachment.” Democrats don’t want a trial; that’ll only further rip apart their garbage case. They want time to logroll other nonsense into this circus act. The more this is in the news, to them, the greater the chance Trump’s numbers are damaged. Well, that didn’t happen, and the economy is booming, so great strategy there, Democrats.
Now, with even moderate Republicans holding firm on nixing a witness deal that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants, despite him not wanting witnesses for when Bill Clinton was impeached—Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has accepted defeat. He pretty much told Nancy that with the GOP not budging, she might as well send over the articles. Yet, McConnell probably should have moved on this without the articles and dismiss the charges. The longer this stayed in limbo, the longer the Democrats had a chance to further degrade constitutional order on the Hill.
Meanwhile, multiple Senate Dems saying now that it's clear GOP is dug in against witness deal, it's time to send the articles and start the trial.— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 7, 2020
"I think the time has past. She should send the articles over," said @ChrisMurphyCT https://t.co/MIUFSFkxnn
NEWS —> McConnell tells GOP senators inside the lunch that he has the votes to proceed with impeachment trial without witness deal, per two people familiar https://t.co/sgKGQhFjAn— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 7, 2020
Wave the white flag, Nancy. Stunt has failed. https://t.co/MGPOn3lAQL— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 7, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Republican senators Tuesday that he is prepared to proceed with President Trump’s impeachment trial with no agreement with Democrats on witnesses, according to two officials familiar with his comments.
The announcement came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) faced increasing pressure to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, including from some in her own party, to allow a trial to begin. Pelosi has held on to the documents as Democrats seek guarantees about the scope of a trial, including witnesses. Earlier Tuesday, Trump highlighted objections to the prospect of testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, as Bolton’s announcement that he is prepared to appear at a trial continued to roil Capitol Hill.
The crux of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
McConnell said he has the minimum of 51 votes to begin the trial in the format that he has long envisioned: opening arguments for both the House impeachment managers and for Trump’s defense team, as well as ample time for questioning by senators, said the two people on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting.
The vote would be held after the Senate receives the articles from the House, and a decision would be made on whether to call witnesses once the first phase of the trial is over, under the majority leader’s plan.
Senate Republican leaders did a final vote check Tuesday morning to make sure they have the votes for McConnell’s plan, according to a GOP senator familiar with the discussions.
That echoes the format of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial that was held 21 years ago, and McConnell has been able to convince his members that Trump should be treated in the same fashion.
Game. Set. Match. We all knew this was going to be the ending. It’s a shock that some thought this would end differently. We control the Senate. This is where Democratic nonsense meets a brutal death. And in the meantime, the economy kept growing, America killed some terrorists, and swing states soured on this whole debacle. Oh, and did we mention that the 2020 Democratic field is old, white, left-wing, and utterly unhinged with zero proposals on their agenda that are popular? I’ll take landslide win for $1000, Alex.
UPDATE: Via WaPo Nancy Pelosi is also digging in, refusing to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Seate. We have a Mexican showdown:
McConnell: Lol ok https://t.co/jZ04cGxkz1— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 7, 2020
Pelosi told Democrats in a closed-door meeting Tuesday night that she would not move to transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate until she learns more about how the other chamber would conduct the trial, according to three people present for her remarks.
The remarks, indicating that she wanted to see the specific rules of procedure for the trial, came as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Senate Democrats hinted that they were ready to proceed with a trial after McConnell said this week that Republicans would not agree to subpoena additional witnesses and documents before the trial begins.