Nancy Pelosi announced today that the House will begin a “formal impeachment inquiry” against President Trump over the Ukraine matter:
“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution.” Mr. Trump, she said, “must be held accountable — no one is above the law.”
This is rather silly, as so far, no one knows what President Trump did with regard to Ukraine. It is entirely possible–likely, in my view–that he did nothing whatsoever that was blameworthy. And it is not clear how anything he might have done would have violated the Constitution.
Trump, for his part, pushed his chips into the middle of the table by announcing that he will release an unredacted transcript of his conversation with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, tomorrow. I think we can assume that the transcript will not reflect particularly badly on Trump.
The Ukraine “scandal,” whatever it proves to be, has serious potential to boomerang on the Democrats, since we know for sure that Joe Biden, as vice president, did precisely the worst thing that Trump can be accused of. By his own account, he pulled a $1 billion loan guarantee to force Ukraine’s government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a company that paid Biden’s son Hunter $600,000 a year for…what? Influence, presumably. Hunter had nothing else to sell.
I think there is no chance that Trump did anything comparable. To the extent that he urged Ukraine’s president to reopen the investigation that Biden squashed, I have a hard time finding fault. It is possible that the exchange between Trump and Zelensky could contain a discussion of Biden’s history that the Democrats will not enjoy reading.
Does today’s announcement mean that the Democrats are committed to voting articles of impeachment? I think so, unless the Ukraine gambit turns out to be a complete disaster for them. House Democrats, like Pelosi, have prejudged the case and are calling for impeachment. Their base is driving them to take this stance notwithstanding the fact that the relevant facts, as to the Ukraine matter, remain unknown. (The “whistleblower,” it turned out, lacked any first-hand knowledge of the purported scandal.) We should know before too long whether the Democrats’ far-gone base is driving them over the cliff.
STEVE adds: Fortunately, the Babylon Bee is on the job!