Why Are Democrats Delaying A Senate Impeachment Trial?

Ding dong, Donald Trump has been impeached! And now it’s all smooth sailing from here! Lmao, jk. So cute of anyone to think any political process could be civil in the current climate. It’s 2019, honey, nothing is sacred and everything is trash.

So, what happens next? Great Q. Now that Trump has been impeached by the House, the next step is an impeachment trial in the Senate, which will determine if he is removed from office (just came typing those words tbh). As we know, the Senate has a GOP majority and is run by human equivalent of a wet sneeze, Mitch McConnell. As you may have heard, Mitch is being a Little Bitch about the whole thing, and has made it clear that he will not serve as an impartial juror, and will instead coordinate everything with the White House. So we’re just not even pretending to play fair anymore, huh? Cool.

So, what are the Dems to do? Another great Q. As of now, it looks like Nancy Pelosi — or Nance, as we call her here a The Sup — is planning to delay the Senate impeachment trial by not handing over the articles of impeachment to the Senate or appointing impeachment managers — House members who will serve as “prosecutor” types in the trial.

After the impeachment vote on Wednesday, Nance told reporters: “We can’t name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side and I would hope that would be soon. So far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us.” Nance has the power to name managers for the Senate trial, and she isn’t obligated to do so under any deadline, according to the rules. So she totes has the power to delay this thing. The question is: should she?

Republicans def don’t think she should, and are having a lil’ hissy fit over it, if you can believe. The White House responded to the move by saying: “House Democrats have run a fatally flawed process with fake facts, and now they want to deny the President his day in court with another procedural maneuver that proves anew they have no case,” and other Republicans have called it constitutional extortion” and a “breathtaking violation.” A little dramatic, but okay.

One could argue that this move only gives Repubs more fuel when it comes to claiming the Dems don’t have a case or aren’t playing fair. But also, like, the Repubs are going to claim that no matter what, so maybe we should just use our power while we have it and let them throw their tantrums?

Also, our girl Nance has a fair point here. Senators have to take an oath to impartial when judging the president’s conduct. A number of prominent Republicans have said publicly and proudly that they have no intention of being impartial. McConnell has straight up said he will work in “total coordination” with the White House. So the juror is working in total coordination with the defendant. Excellent.

Plus, McConnell has said he won’t let Dems call their requested witnesses, so Nance could use this as leverage until he agrees to bring a motion to call the  four White House staffers who the Trump admin refused to let testify in the House hearings. McConnell has said he wants a quick trial — as short as two weeks. Democrats think they can pressure him into concessions by delaying a process he wants nothing more than to get over with.

Delaying the trial until he agrees to play fair seems like a p legit strategy to me, and I’d have faith in it if I thought Mitch McConnell was capable of playing fair, but unfortunately decaying human turtles just aren’t wired that way. However, I do think gaining the power to call new people to the stand could be beneficial for the Dems.

Nancy Pelosi today clarified that she does intend to transmit the articles of impeachment to the House in a timely fashion, and she’s just waiting for the Senate to set its own rules for the proceedings before she decides who to appoint as House managers. But later, Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer failed to reach an agreement on trial rules and the House didn’t make any moves to send over the articles. House lawmakers won’t return from the holiday recess until January 7.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but at the end of the day it’s important to go about these processes strategically and fairly, to set a precedent and to send a message. By refusing to send over the articles of impeachment, the Dems get to publicly state that they don’t believe the Senate trial will be fair, and that they aren’t going to let the GOP abuse their power. How ’bout them apples?

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Images: Giphy (2)

Irene Merrow
Irene Merrow
Irene makes jokes, understands politics, and has legit perfect eyebrows, all in a day’s work. Dumb bitch women really can have it all! This bio took her three days and five nightmares to write.