Democrats rush to impeach Trump, then sit on It
WASHINGTON -- Imagine there is a murder trial that takes months and involves many witnesses, and then, at the end, the prosecutor announces that he's done such a great job of arguing guilt, he's not going to send the case to the jury.
That's sort of what happened Wednesday night after the Democratic House voted to impeach President Donald Trump. With a win in her column, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had to confess that she wasn't ready to send the articles to the GOP Senate.
Can you say "farce"? Because that's what the impeachment effort essentially was. House Democrats kept switching the offenses they said merit kicking Trump out of the Oval Office, as they ditched the bipartisan spirit they once considered essential.
In September, when she learned about a whistleblower who didn't like Trump asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to look into dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Pelosi didn't wait for further information. On the say-so of an unnamed person, she couldn't wait to announce she would launch an impeachment.
There was no Republican support.
The first of two articles of impeachment pretty much passed along party lines by a margin of 230-197 -- with no Republican voting yes, two Democrats voting no, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, voting present as she preferred censure over impeachment.
One of those two Democrats, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, announced Thursday at the White House that he was joining the GOP. Trump promptly endorsed him.
After the big vote, having won what they wanted for three years, Democrats sat on their victory.
With a two-thirds vote in the majority GOP Senate needed to convict and remove Trump, House Democrats know how this is going to end. So after rushing to impeach, they are playing for time.
During her weekly news conference on Thursday, Pelosi cut off questions about impeachment. It was an action that belied her assertion that she felt "a spring in my step because of the moral courage of our members."