Friday, December 20, 2019

Impeachment Tricks: Dumb and Dumber

Nancy Pelosi's  abortive "I won't send impeachment managers to the Senate until they agree to do the trial my way" play was dumb.

But any time a politician of one party says or does something dumb, the other party coming up with something even dumber isn't far behind:

Lawyers close to President Donald Trump are exploring whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to temporarily withhold articles of impeachment from the Senate could mean that the president hasn’t actually been impeached.

 On December 18, the US House voted on, and passed, two articles of impeachment, and the votes and results were duly recorded.

Yes, the president has been impeached. The House has sole power of impeachment, and it has exercised that power. There's no question of Pelosi "withholding" the articles of impeachment.

The question is when and if she will appoint House managers to prosecute the case in the Senate trial.

But just as the House has sole power to impeach, the Senate has sole power to try the impeachment.

Waiting for the House to appoint managers, or anything else, is a Senate rule, not a constitutional or statutory requirement. That rule can be changed with a simple majority, and the Republicans have said majority.

If Senate Republicans want to tell Nancy Pelosi to go to hell and bring in the main cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta to manage the prosecution, they can do that.

What neither Senate Republicans nor White House lawyers can do is magically un-impeach Donald J. Trump. That bell has already been rung and it will stay rung.

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