I’d venture to say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is thinking very deeply about the next steps that will be taken in this impeachment process. It’s time to think out of the box, not just follow the same standard process of, after the articles of impeachment have been approved by the House members, to send them to the Senate, hoping for a fair and nonpartisan trial; especially when she knows that the chances of such a fair trial are little to none.
In normal times in a normal Congress, that might be the proper way to proceed but these are anything but normal times and this Senate could never be called normal. If the House just sends the articles to the Senate then the Democrats will fall into the deadly trap set by Majority Leader McConnell and his Republican puppets.
Those articles will be turned into no more than pieces of paper and they will become meaningless as soon as McConnell gets his hands on them. That trap is there just waiting for Democrats to fall into it, and Republicans can’t wait for it to happen.
So, what’s next, what should Pelosi and the Democrats do? Here is the way I see events unfolding in the next several weeks and, very likely before Congress goes on the Christmas recess:
Here are the articles of impeachment recently developed by the House Democrats:
*Abuse of power, directly connected to Trump’s demands that Zelensky, President of Ukraine, investigate Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden, in return for $391 million in military aid, plus a Zelensky visit to the White House.
*Obstruction of Congress, obstructing the House Democrats’ investigation into the Ukraine matter by blocking every single subpoena issued and preventing key witnesses from testifying.
I would have included a third article that would also be obstruction of justice when Trump continuously obstructed Special Prosecutor Mueller’s special investigation. But Pelosi and the House leaders decided to stick with only two for reasons of their own.
The House, because of the large Democratic majority, should easily approve the Judiciary Committee’s articles of impeachment but, before the impeachment articles are submitted to the Senate for a vote, I believe that Speaker Pelosi will step in and take over the process. Here is what I believe she will then do:
First, and most important, Pelosi will not submit the articles to the Senate because she knows that they will fall into that trap as soon as they enter that legislative body. No doubt, she has been thinking about this for some time and there should be no question in her mind that McConnell will use every rule, i.e., his political weaponry, to turn the entire trial into no more than a charade.
And the worst thing of all? Trump will go from being the defendant in this trial to a poor victim of Democratic underhanded methods designed solely to discredit him. He will claim total vindication of all wrongdoing and will flaunt the new power that he has attained. He will be a hero to his mind-conditioned supporters, and his path to reelection will just have been cleared of these obstructions.
So there is no way that Pelosi can let that happen and she won’t. Instead, she and her committee chairpersons and key staff members will prepare a clear, concise presentation of all the facts and evidence against Trump that they will present to the American people.
The presentation must be straight to the point, clearly illustrating the abuse of power and obstruction by Trump. It should be designed to convince the American people of the depth of his disregard for the US Constitution, and that this cannot be tolerated.
It has to be able to reach the largest segment of the American people, so Democrats must come up with a very effective way to use the various elements of the media to spread their message to every corner of this country.
House Republicans will have no voice, none whatsoever in the process. No involvement of any kind by which to poison it.
Republicans will be stopped in their tracks, their devious plan and their deadly trap will be destroyed, and they will be devastated. It will all be over for them. Their raving and ranting during any subsequent House hearings will fall on deaf ears.
This will serve as a different kind of impeachment trial, Democrats will be the prosecutors and the people will be the judge and jury. In this kind of trial, the only defense the Republicans will have is to use Fox News and other right-wing news outlets to repeat all the useless things they have said and done to block the impeachment process.
The people’s jury will have plenty of time to deliberate and Democrats may well see the courts order Don McGahn, Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and others to testify. That’s when we might see a bombshell explode over Washington DC.
If Trump somehow escapes removal by impeachment the jury will cast their votes in the 2020 elections and they will, without question, find him guilty as charged. The sentence handed down by the people will send him out of office for good. Then, America’s democracy will be preserved and the threat of an authoritarian government ruling this country will come to an end.