What Pelosi Really Wants From Impeachment

What Pelosi Really Wants From Impeachment, by Charles Lipson.

The most important thing to know about Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is this: It is not about removing President Trump now; it is about damaging him now so he can be defeated next year.

Nancy Pelosi … knows a Republican Senate is very unlikely to convict Donald Trump without a lot more evidence than has been brought to light along with a groundswell of public support. So, the House speaker has a more realistic goal, and it’s a purely political one. Her aim is to prevent Trump’s reelection. To do it, she has exerted tight, unilateral control over the process and handed day-to-day investigation to her California protégé, Adam Schiff, who heads the committee on intelligence. His secret hearings are in sharp contrast to the open ones held for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton by the House Judiciary Committee. …

Voters want clear-cut evidence of high crimes before removing a duly-elected president from office, especially since they get to vote on him next year. They also want evidence that impeachment is bipartisan, that it seeks to protect our country and not just one party.

Pelosi knows she cannot provide it. She is not counting on an avalanche of damning new evidence or a collapse of Trump’s Republican support in the House or Senate. Instead, she’s counting on the damage she can do to Trump’s chances in 2020. It’s a risky strategy, one that could sink the president but could also endanger the Democrats’ House majority.

The clincher:

The best way to understand the speaker’s true aim is to ask “How would Pelosi, Schiff, and their allies act if their goal was really to remove Trump from office by impeachment?”

The short answer is that they would bend over backwards to show the whole process is fair, open, and deliberate. They would use that impartial process to forge a broad, bipartisan consensus that the president had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” and should be removed. That’s exactly what Democrats did during the Nixon impeachment. It’s not what they are doing now.

The Democrats are corrupting the political process, using the impeachment mechanism simply to smear their opponent. Cynical.