There has been plenty of speculation as to why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held onto the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for so long after Democrats passed them in the House — but now, one Republican senator thinks he knows why.
According to Fox News, Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) suggested on Saturday that Pelosi’s delay was little more than an attempt to keep Democrat 2020 hopefuls like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren “off the campaign trail” and covered up in a Senate trial in Washington ahead of the Iowa caucuses early next month.
“[She’s] trying to help Joe Biden here,” Scott claimed, according to Fox.
Pelosi holds Dem senators in D.C.
Scott offered up his theory while speaking with Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Saturday after President Trump’s defense team gave a brief opening argument to top off the first full week of the Senate’s impeachment trial. Before turning to Pelosi, however, Scott praised Trump’s team for its successful rebuttal.
“I think the White House counsel showed that there was no due process in the House,” Scott said, according to Fox. He added that Trump’s team “knee-capped” lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) and destroyed the Democrats’ arguments for convicting and removing President Trump from office.
But the bad news isn’t over for the left. According to Scott, there’s dissension within the party — and it’s affecting the 2020 race.
“I think I’ve come to the conclusion why Nancy Pelosi held the articles of impeachment for 33 days,” Scott told Cavuto on Saturday. “This whole thing has helped Joe Biden. I mean, all this is to keep Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren off the campaign trail and help Joe Biden.”
Biden roams free
Though it is highly doubtful that Pelosi would ever admit as much, the House speaker’s delay did in fact push back the start of the impeachment trial, forcing senators who are also running in the Democratic primary to stay away from the campaign trail and in the Senate’s chambers.
This includes lawmakers like Bernie Sanders (VT), Elizabeth Warren (MA), and even Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Michael Bennet (CO), all of whom are stuck in Washington while the likes of Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are free to roam the streets of Iowa ahead of its Feb. 3 caucuses.
Of course, if Biden is eventually called to testify in Trump’s trial, he may be confined to D.C. as well.
For now, it remains unclear how effective Pelosi’s plan — if it was indeed a plan — to bolster Joe Biden’s chances at winning the Dems’ 2020 nomination will be. According to RealClearPolitics‘ latest average of primary polls, Sanders appears to be leading the pack in Iowa as well as New Hampshire, another early primary state, while Biden continues to be the frontrunner overall.
That said, it is still early, and there is no telling how long the impeachment trial will last. Only time will tell what impact Trump’s impeachment truly has on the Democrats’ 2020 primary race, but the Dems surely didn’t expect it to cause this many problems for them.