by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nancy Pelosi said she undertook impeachment “prayerfully,” and apparently what she was praying was that she could get it over with as soon as possible.
The House is preparing to send a flagrantly incomplete factual record to the Senate as the basis of an effort to remove a sitting president for the first time in our history.
Pelosi has affected a posture of heavy-heartedness since the outset of the process, saying that “there’s no joy in this” and urging a somber spirit as Democrats pursue the facts wherever they may take them — so long as that’s not too far into an election year.
In substantive terms, the Democrats had a good set of public hearings before Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee the past two weeks — with one gaping hole. They didn’t have anyone with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s directives on Ukraine or his state of mind. The closest was EU ambassador Gordon Sondland who, still, could only “presume” a quid pro quo over the defense aid.
There are people who probably don’t have to presume, and Sondland named some of them: Trump’s personal counsel Rudy Giuliani, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They were all closer to this than Sondland, yet Democrats are happy to make the guy from the outer bounds of the inner circle their “star witness” and forgo the inner circle.