Less than three months after announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump in connection with the president’s efforts to leverage nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to compel Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election, Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats will move ahead with articles of impeachment.
The Speaker’s announcement came on the heels of the House Judiciary committee’s Wednesday hearing, during which a trio of scholars made it abundantly clear that Trump’s conduct is wholly inconsistent with the Constitution.
“If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable”, Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina professor, who testified before the panel said, in one of the more memorable moments.
As discussed here at length on Wednesday evening, this is, oddly, no longer all that contentious an issue for anyone who isn’t predisposed to turning a blind eye to the facts or to reality more generally. This just “is what it is”, so to speak. Pelosi underscored as much in her Thursday remarks.
“In America no one is above the law. The facts are uncontested: The President abused his power for his own political benefit, at the expense of our national security. His actions have seriously violated the Constitution [and he] leaves us no choice but to act”.
She continued: “Sadly, but with confidence and humility, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. I commend our committee chairs and members for their somber approach to actions which I wish the President had not made necessary”.
Contrary to Jonathan Turley’s contention that this is somehow rushed, Trump has teetered perilously on the edge of violating the Constitution since the day he took office. The list of affronts to democracy committed by Trump is so long that trying to catalogue his various and sundry misdeeds is an exercise in futility. Arguably, he does or says something that’s grounds for impeachment every, single week.
Seen in that light, Pelosi has exercised superhuman restraint. She could have pushed ahead with this as soon as the House flipped, but she waited, probably knowing it was just a matter of time before Trump sealed his own fate.
Don’t forget: That patient approach infuriated some progressive Democrats and very nearly caused a damaging rift between the Speaker and her four biggest stars (Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley).
Nobody should kid themselves. It’s over for Trump in the House. He’s going to be impeached – probably by Christmas. And he knows it.
“If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial”, he said Thursday. “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is”.
As of now, his acquittal in the Senate seems like a foregone conclusion.