After Illegitimate Impeachment, Pelosi Tries to Delegitimize the Acquittal
More than a month after presiding over the most illegitimate, baseless impeachment in American history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday that President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate – which was a foregone conclusion from the moment she initiated these proceedings – would not be a true acquittal.
Bitter that the Republican-controlled Senate refused to let House Democrats take over the trial with their circus-like, unethical sham rules, Pelosi appeared to hint at the messaging going forward for Democrats: Trump’s impeachment was constitutional; his acquittal was not.
“He will not be acquitted,” Pelosi told the press. “You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial. You don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation and all of that. Does the president know right from wrong? I don’t think so.”
Yeah, you don’t have a trial unless you do it exactly the way we want you to! Of course, even if Republicans had consented to calling John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, Omarosa, and Rosie O’Donnell as witnesses, it would never have been enough. They could have let Democrats put on evidence from now until the conventions this summer, and as long as the final judgment was acquittal, Pelosi would have smeared it as illegitimate.
The problem, of course, isn’t the amount of evidence against the president. It isn’t whether or not witnesses are called to the chamber. It’s about whether – even if every single word of what the Democrats say about this Ukraine business is true – any of this rises to the level of impeachment. And the clean, clear fact of the matter is that it does not. And it’s really not even close.
For as much guff as Alan Dershowitz took for his closing argument, he was absolutely right. No, he didn’t say the president could do whatever he wanted as long as he believed his re-election was in the national interest. That was just the lazy, partisan spin from Democrats and the media. Dershowitz carefully laid out examples running from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama to show that a president could work in the nation’s interests AND his own political interests without any risk of impeachment. Indeed, you can almost certainly find examples of this kind of mixed motivation in every single presidency dating back to George f’ing Washington. This isn’t new. This isn’t shocking. It’s reality.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Trump infamously said that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue without losing any voters. Undoubtedly, Democrats will spend the rest of the year telling us that’s essentially what happened with impeachment. It isn’t. The Ukraine debacle was Trump spitting his gum out in the middle of 5th avenue. Maybe it’s worth a “Come on man, really?” But it certainly doesn’t “endanger our democracy” or any of this other hyperbole that Democrats have been trying to sell us. It’s nothing. The public knows it, and Republicans in the Senate know it.
And although she’ll never admit it, Nancy Pelosi knows it, too.