In a preview of things to come, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer delivered dueling narratives on the Senate floor Thursday, following Donald Trump’s impeachment in the House on abuse of power and obstruction charges.
“By the speaker’s own standards, the standards she set, she’s failed the country”, McConnell assessed, in an effort to suggest that because Pelosi couldn’t convince any Republicans to admit that Trump was wrong to have leveraged nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aide (and a photo op at the White House) in the service of convincing a foreign government to publicly announce investigations into his political rivals, she shouldn’t have presided over the president’s impeachment.
“The case is not compelling, not overwhelming, and as a result, not bipartisan”, McConnell continued.
Obviously, that’s just not true. The irony is that between the witness testimony and the transcript released by the White House itself, it really wasn’t necessary to “make the case”, as it were.
As we’ve put it previously in these pages, Trump did what he did. Nobody seriously contests the facts.
What’s contested is whether he deserves to be impeached and removed from office for it, and what McConnell intends to do is avoid hearing from anyone (namely Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton) who might say something that would make it impossible for the Senate not to convict.
Cue Chuck Schumer, who, in response to McConnell’s charge that Pelosi ran “the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history”, said Mitch is “plotting the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment trial”.
“Is the president so weak than none of the president’s men can defend him under oath?” Schumer asked.
Pelosi caused a stir following the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday when she indicated she may delay the trial by declining to send the articles to the Senate.
“We will make our decision as to when we are going to send it when we see what they are doing on the Senate side”, Pelosi said. “So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us”.
For his part, Trump followed up on his wild rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, with some of his signature Twitter bombast.
“Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate, which can set a date and put this whole SCAM into default if they refuse to show up!”, the president shrieked, into the digital void. “The Do Nothings are so bad for our Country!”