Robert Mueller succeeded where Nancy Pelosi largely failed. Either that, or House Democrats have suddenly retreated in the face of, er, weaponization. Either way, the Washington Post reports, we won’t hear much about impeachment again for the rest of this session, or if we’re lucky, the rest of our lives.
We’re not that lucky … are we? Naah:
House Democrats conceded Monday that the possibility of impeachment proceedings against President Trump is over, at least for now — marking a dramatic retreat in the wake of the conclusion by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that Trump’s campaign did not conspire with Russia in the 2016 election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of her leadership team agreed in a Monday night huddle that the caucus needs to stop talking about collusion with Russia because it was distracting from their legislative agenda, according to three people in the meeting or familiar with the discussion.
Not only are they not talking about impeachment from now on, they’re rewriting history to claim that they never were talking seriously about it. George Orwell, meet Eliot Engel:
Mueller’s conclusions on the Russia conspiracy question and Barr’s related decision on obstruction further diminished the hopes of some on the left that Trump might be vulnerable to impeachment for crimes related to Russian election interference. Some Democrats even insisted that impeachment was never seriously on the table.
“I was never for impeachment discussions; that’s like putting the cart before the horse,” said House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), who is investigating Trump’s contact with Russia, as well. “It never went through my mind.”
Ahem. Anyone who buys that historical revisionism is invited to bid on a bridge near Engel’s congressional district in the Big Apple this afternoon. (Checks are payable to Ed Morrissey, c/o Hot Air. Please write clearly.)
At least Engel is still talking. Politico reported last night that impeachment advocates have taken this opportunity to start keeping their mouths shut:
Some of the most fervent supporters for impeaching Donald Trump are going silent.
Democratic lawmakers who have long sought to force Trump from office came to grips with a harsh new reality on Monday after special counsel Robert Mueller shuttered his investigation without a single charge against the president.
But are they “going silent,” though? Read through past the jump and we see some familiar names still making threats:
[Maxine] Waters adopted a notably restrained tone on Monday when responding to reporters about how the summary released over the weekend affects the political calculation around pursuing impeachment.
“I think we do nothing now but concentrate on getting the information, getting that report,” Waters said. “[Impeachment has] never been discussed as a strategy for this caucus. It’s only a few of us.” …
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) confirmed to POLITICO on Monday night that she still intended to introduce a resolution backing impeachment within days. But she declined to comment further, with a staffer interjecting to keep Tlaib from providing more details.
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who had already said he would seek impeachment regardless of Mueller’s findings, reiterated after Sunday’s letter from Barr that his position had not changed.
Like I said, we’re not really that lucky — and neither is Nancy Pelosi, who read the writing on the wall weeks ago and tried to warn her caucus against this talk. As long as some in her caucus continue to flack for impeachment, Republicans and especially Donald Trump will focus on their illegitimate efforts and paint the entire caucus as extreme and obsessed with vendettas.
The only real difference now is that we know this is nothing but empty threats and self-promotion. After the Mueller collapse, everyone else in the caucus will prefer to take the Engel option and pretend that they never took the idea seriously. Good luck betting on short memories and failed Google searches!