The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to open their own round of impeachment hearings, with Democrats seeking to make the case for sending the question to the floor for a vote. But not everyone is excited about this stage of the process. Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) sees no reason to go through the bother of grilling all of these constitutional scholars and other witnesses. He would prefer to just rip the bandage off and move to a final vote right now. (The Hill)
“The Intelligence Committee report outlines in detail how this president has abused his office. The Judiciary Committee should simply accept the report’s findings and move to draft articles of impeachment,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a progressive leader, said in a video he posted on Twitter.
“We don’t need more hearings; we need a vote,” he said. “It’s time to move with speed and have a vote on the House floor on impeachment.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she doesn’t know if the impeachment process will wrap up by the end of the year, but her front-liners — particularly those centrist Democrats who won Trump districts in the 2018 midterms — want leadership to plow ahead and hold a vote on articles of impeachment before Christmas.
Khanna isn’t the only one. There are some nervous Democrats from districts that Trump carried in 2016 who seem to want this all to be over with. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is a freshman who flipped a Trump district from red to blue last year and she’s hoping to put a bow on this gift before Santa arrives. “I am a new member of Congress, but this seems fast. And that’s good,” she said. “Everyone seems to be on the same page, that we should be moving ahead efficiently.”
The blue-state Democrats in safe seats are probably happy to see the process drag out. The longer the impeachment hearings go on, the longer they know they can keep CNN talking about it 24/7 as their boss ordered them to do. Even though the polls haven’t moved noticeably throughout this process, some of them seem to feel this is helping their cause moving into the 2020 election cycle.
Not so for the Democratic senators, however… particularly the ones running for President. As soon as the trial starts in the Senate, they’ll be pulled off the campaign trail just as voters in Iowa prepare to go to the caucuses. The other choice is to skip out on their responsibilities. Neither is an appealing option.
As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s hard to ignore the perception that the Democrats have pretty much peaked too early on the impeachment question and are now looking to just get this over with. Trump won’t be removed from office by the Senate, so this entire process is going to be exposed as a dog and pony show. And by the time the nation begins paying attention to the general election in late summer, all of this will be an unpleasant memory.
Unfortunately for Nancy Pelosi and her caucus, it’s too late to back out of the deal now. After the Intelligence Committee report was released, they’ve pretty much committed themselves to the conclusion that Trump is guilty of something meriting his removal from office. If they canceled the vote now, the entire process would be exposed as a complete farce. The only outcome worse than that would be to hold the vote and not have enough Democrats going along to get them over the finish line.
Exit question(s) for the morning: Pelosi will no doubt be watching the whip count closely. If she’s not sure that impeachment will pass, does she go ahead with the vote anyway to demonstrate to the faithful that she at least tried? Or does she table the entire affair and try to pretend it never happened?
UPDATE: (Jazz) Apologies for misgendering Congressman Khanna.