This idea was kicking around among the chatterati last week, then seemed to pick up momentum over the weekend after the two most influential Republicans in the Senate on impeachment went out of their way to signal how deep in the tank they are for Trump. Mitch McConnell admitted on Thursday night that he’s coordinating with the White House on how the Senate trial should be run, then Lindsey Graham told CNN on Saturday that his mind is effectively made up: “I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here. What I see coming, happening today is just a partisan nonsense.” When the defense is effectively running the trial and the “jurors” are openly flaunting the fact that they’re partial, what’s a Democrat to do?
Impeach and withhold, some anti-Trumpers say. Charlie Sykes makes the argument at the Bulwark:
So here is a modest proposal: the House should (1) vote to impeach on Wednesday, and (2) withhold sending any articles which pass to the Senate unless and until a majority of senators commit to holding an open and fair trial in accordance with the Constitution.
Speaker Pelosi could highlight Trump’s continued cover up and obstruction, while also noting that his abuse of power is a crime in progress.
She could also explicitly link the referral to Chuck Schumer’s demands for key documents and the testimony of senior White House officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; Mulvaney’s senior adviser Robert Blair; and former national security adviser John Bolton.