If you’re wondering whether impeachment is going to be brought to the House floor, there is a high-stakes game of chicken going on between the Speaker of the House and the President that will take us into Monday…
Democratic Congressmen Ted Lieu and David Cicilline actually started drafting the single Article of Impeachment Resolution on the same day that the Capitol was attacked. In part, it reads:
“Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
The Speaker knows what she’s doing. It’s the reason Nancy Pelosi’s gotten where she is — and stayed there. Whether you like her politics or not, she’s usually three moves down the chessboard.
Pelosi feels she finally has leverage, and she’s using it to pressure the President into resigning. She may not think that he’s actually going to do it, but by giving him a way out, it provides her political cover for bringing it to the floor. In other words: “Hey — I gave you the chance to leave after what you did. You chose not to. This is the consequence.”
The Speaker had a conference call with the full Democratic caucus today, and the representatives she designated to speak to the media are saying that everyone is locked in on the way forward: Impeachment if Trump doesn’t resign.
Now, before anyone says: “Oh, Donald Trump will NEVER RESIGN the presidency!” — take a second to look at the landscape…
After the Dems threatened today to impeach on Monday, one of the few remaining Trump communications staff, Judd Deere, put out a statement:
“As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one Nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
There’s a detectable odor of desperation in those words. What the hell would he care about them impeaching him again? If he thinks that the Senate wouldn’t convict him anyway, why object? We know empirically that he does not care about “unity and healing,” so why the statement?
The Speaker has put him in a political vice, and she can just wait now. Pelosi has back-channels to White House staff through her staff and she can call his bluff on Monday. If by then there has been no change, she can message to the President something along the lines of:
“We have given the President 72 hours to resign, and he has not. Therefore, we will be bringing the Resolution to Impeach to the House floor at (insert time) this afternoon.”
Now the clock’s ticking. Trump can let them impeach and roll the dice that at least 33 GOP Senators will stick by him (Senator Murkowski has already called for his resignation). And even if he did survive the Senate, he’d still carry the mantle of being the first president in American history to be impeached twice by the US House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, with this long weekend ahead of him, Twitter has permanently removed his account. More alone time.
Mar-a-lago awaits. Which way do you want to go down? That’s Pelosi’s play. Either way, an official statement gets made about the tragedy he incited.
The soap opera continues: Like sands through the hourglass, these are the final days of the 45th president’s government life.