I know a lot of you have contempt for Nancy Pelosi. And certainly, there’s plenty that’s contemptible. But I also find her to be a very sharp political operator, and in some ways I’ve got a lot of respect for her. A woman who raised a bunch of kids and then went into politics and achieved the pinnacle of power in the House. I think President Trump respects her too.
Pelosi never wanted to move forward with impeachment. She understood the whole thing is a political loser, and that Trump is not going to be removed.
But once the Ukraine call emerged, it became clear to her that she could not resists demands from the left to move ahead. And so she did.
But think of what she gave them: Impeachment light. They have called no witnesses with direct knowledge that Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainians for an investigation of Joe Biden and his hopeless son Hunter.
So there’s no way, as a legal matter, they can get a conviction in the Senate, even if people don’t like what Trump did. It’s hearsay and second-hand information. They don’t have the evidence that would prevail in a court of law, nor with the “jury” that the Senate becomes after impeachment next month.
Calling witness with direct knowledge like Rudy Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney would have taken months as their challenges are considered in the courts and dragged this on for too long, well into the Democratic primary season. And the Senate trial might not have been done until April or May, which would severely beg the question of why Democrats are removing a president just a few months before an election.
So instead, she has pleased the base by at least going through the motions of impeachment. The Senate trial will be quick, and the damage to Democrats will be minimized.
So everyone in the Democratic party is happy, and Democrats get to return the focus to their candidates – remember them? – by February.
Pretty smart work with the bad hand she was dealt.