Law professor: Pelosi’s strategy of impeachment delay ‘played into the hands’ of McConnell

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley writes in a recent column that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “played into the hands” of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) by rushing to pass impeachment articles, only to engage in a delay tactic that was “as implausible as it was hypocritical.”

Turley reminds readers that McConnell could have exercised the so-called “nuclear” option that would have changed impeachment voting rules going forward, or even dismissed the articles outright because of the delay, making the staggering political risk taken by Pelosi all the more perplexing.

“Waiting for the House to submit a list of managers was always a courtesy extended by Senate rules and not a requirement of the Constitution,” Turley emphasized.

Why delay?

Many have speculated about why Pelosi would hold onto the articles for nearly a month when she claimed in December that President Donald Trump was an urgent and immediate threat to the country and that his impeachment could not be postponed any longer.

One theory about the impeachment delay is that Pelosi wanted to help Joe Biden in his quest to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. In the past, senators have not been allowed to campaign during an impeachment trial, which means that Sens. Bernie Sanders (VT), Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Amy Klobuchar (MN) will be sidelined right before the first primaries and caucuses start.

Furthermore, the transmission of impeachment articles to the Senate is curiously taking place on the day after President Trump signed a blockbuster “Phase One” trade deal with China and on the same day that the Senate passed the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.

Of course, the press is more interested in impeachment than in these watershed economic developments and is attempting to take some of the attention away from Trump’s accomplishments by choosing which of the stories ought to receive more coverage.

Due in significant part to these trade deals, the stock market is reaching new record highs, but this news will also be largely ignored by mainstream media outlets determined to stoke the impeachment flames as much as possible.

Public frustration builds

Large sectors of registered voters still do not see the point in impeaching Trump, and many are pointing an accusatory finger at Pelosi for unnecessarily delaying the president’s inevitable acquittal in the Senate.

The best thing for Pelosi to do would have been to back down on impeachment when she realized she didn’t have any real offenses to prosecute, but she decided to go for it, and now she’s paying the price.

The blatantly biased House hearings and shockingly weak articles passed by the House are starting to catch up to Democrats, and the damage they ultimately do to the party’s future prospects may not be fully apparent until November.

Maybe one day Pelosi’s reasoning for delaying impeachment will be known to all, but for now, it must be chalked up to another tactic from the political left that was destined to fail from the start.

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