What If The Democrats Threw Out The Calendar?

What If The Democrats Threw Out The Calendar?


Leonard Zwelling

The last two blogs have focused on the issue of President Trump’s pending impeachment. First, there really is little doubt that Mr. Trump did some impeachable stuff. There’s more than enough evidence whether you include the violations of the emoluments clause or the findings of the Mueller Report. Ukraine is enough to impeach. BUT—it’s not going to be enough to convict. Why then did the Dems move so quickly?

The current wisdom is that the Democrats played the hand that they were dealt. They were not going to get the testimony of a slew of key witnesses because the president has precluded their speaking to the House committees. The only way the House committees would have gotten that critical testimony is by going to the federal courts to compel that testimony under subpoena. That process would probably take months and the Dems want this over before the voting starts in Iowa in February. Why? So that the Democratic senators running for president and others in the Senate can safely vote to convict, even if that vote might hurt them in purple state primaries or in the general election in November. The thinking among the Dems is that they are going to lose the impeachment fight in the Senate, let’s do it to lay out our case to America and also allow America to forget the whole thing after Trump is acquitted in the Senate. I know. It’s illogical, but these are politicians after all.

But what if Nancy Pelosi and her committee chairs used a different approach and ignored the election calendar and just did their work? They fear Trump will cheat in the 2020 election. He will anyway.

Go ahead and subpoena Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Mulvaney and Giuliani. The precedent of forcing their testimony exists as is the case now with Don McGahn. It took a long time to get all the principals to talk in the Watergate Affair. Courts had to be asked to compel testimony and they did and the tapes were eventually revealed. What’s the big deal about taking a lot more time as Jonathan Turley suggested? Because Trump will interfere in the 2020 election? He will if he can anyway.

First, there is no way this longer process gets done by the election, I suspect. So what?

Second, Trump will probably win. Win or lose you can take care of it later. If he gets a second term, it will be like Watergate and the investigation will span the pre-election/post-election time horizon. So what? He can always be impeached then. If Trump loses in November, then the new Justice Department can probably indict him for obstruction and make his life a living hell. Now that would be justice!

Third, this would be a good test of both Mr. Trump and whoever his Democratic opponent turns out to be. Can either or both candidates walk and chew gum simultaneously? That is can they deal with an on-going impeachment investigation while addressing the business of the country during a campaign? It’s pretty obvious that Congress cannot do that, but perhaps others can. After all, the economy is booming and we are in no more wars than we were in 2016, let the people decide whether or not they wish to stay the course or change horses.

In reflecting on the last few months when impeachment went from the theoretical to the likely, I am struck by Professor Turley’s logic. Why not just keep the investigation going until the case is air tight—which it will be if you can get all those underlings to fess up. They’ll talk, especially if it makes for lighter sentences for them. You know Mike Pence wants to flip on Trump. He can’t possibly really like him.

The Dems feel compelled to play the short game. It’s not even a gamble. They will get their impeachment, but no chance of a conviction if they keep going as it appears Speaker Pelosi wants to do and as today’s (December 9) press conference indicated. But what if you gave America another year or two to absorb the truth about Donald Trump? Perhaps the other half will come around just as the country did in Watergate.

These things take time. Perhaps the Dems have made an error in trying to make this a one-game playoff. Maybe a seven-game series would have been a better choice.

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