The impeachment farce (by which I mean the way impeachment is being handled) may be headed for new heights. Farce status was attained when Nancy Pelosi decided, for the time being at least, not to send the two articles of impeachment authorized by the House on to the Senate for prosecution.
Pelosi’s rationale was astounding. The Senate needs to hear more evidence than the House bothered to collect to adjudicate the case for removing President Trump.
I have assumed that Pelosi was bluffing, albeit with an exposed hand consisting of a queen high (or maybe a high queen). Surely she simply hopes to leverage Trump’s expressed desire for a trial into a few procedural concessions.
But if we take Pelosi’s statements at face value, the farce is heightened by the position House Democrats are taking in court — i.e., that they need testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn in order to determine whether to bring new articles of impeachment.
One response might be that if the House could pass two articles of impeachment without what it claims is key evidence, why can’t it pass additional articles impeachment without McGahn’s testimony? Another response might be that if the House isn’t willing to prosecute the articles of impeachment it has already passed, why should a court enable it to pass additional articles to NOT prosecute.
These answers are flippant, of course. The House’s case for obtaining McGahn’s testimony will be treated more seriously, and should be, by a panel of the D.C Circuit consisting of Judges Henderson, Griffith, and Rogers (a Bush 41, a Bush 43, and a Clinton appointee, respectively).
But Pelosi’s behavior invites ridicule. Americans who are still following the impeachment process (and not that many seem to be) must be scratching their heads.