In a speech on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, Mitch McConnell scoffed at the “shoddy work” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats had done in bringing impeachment against President Donald Trump. McConnell noted Pelosi’s remarks at a press conference after the vote as well, speculating that the Democrats may be “too afraid” to finish this business by sending the articles over to the Senate for a trial.
“This particular House of Representatives has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future,” McConnell said.
Pelosi said Wednesday that she would be deciding with her top leaders whether or not to immediately send the articles to the Senate, telling the press that she was worried about the prospects for a “fair trial.”
“Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet,” McConnell said.
On Twitter, President Trump noticed Pelosi’s sudden reluctance to send over the articles of impeachment.
“I got Impeached last night without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” he tweeted. “Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!”
It would be truly bizarre for House Democrats to just “sit on” the impeachment after rushing it to a historic vote on Wednesday. However, Pelosi can certainly be forgiven for thinking that Republicans will treat the process with the same level of fairness it was given by their counterparts in the House. That’s surely what will happen, and it’s exactly what should happen. To give this impeachment any credit for being a serious constitutional remedy would be to empower Democrats for the rest of the century. The impeachment deserves only scorn, mockery, and the briefest of show-trials before being cast to the bowels of Capitol Hill forever.
The other possibility – that Senate Republicans will put the Democrats on trial, will call the Bidens to testify, and turn this entire process on its head – may also be giving Pelosi pause. However, both McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham have indicated that they aren’t interested in going down that path.
Even if that’s what Pelosi is worried about, though, she is taking a big risk by causing a delay. If Trump’s quick acquittal would be politically damaging for 2020 Democrats, prolonging the impeachment process may be even worse. Public opinion has turned viciously against Democrats since the start of the hearings; if Pelosi starts playing games with a fairly straightforward process, those polls are bound to get worse.
We thought this chick was supposed to be some brilliant political strategist?