Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the speaker of the U.S. House, on Thursday tried her hand at influencing the jury in President Trump’s coming impeachment trial.
“We’ll see if it’s going to be a Senate of courage or cowards,” she said.
Presumably the senators would be courageous if they convict on Pelosi’s charge, adopted in the House without evidence or witnesses, that he incited a rally crowd on January 6 to vandalize the U.S. Capitol.
Impeachment is a political, not a legal, process, but in America’s courts a prosecutor who publicly proclaimed to a pending jury that they would be courageous for delivering a conviction and cowards for not undoubtedly would be explaining those actions to the judiciary.
She charged forward with what experts have called an unprecedented “snap impeachment” despite the fact constitutional experts have confirmed Trump’s comments were protected by the First Amendment.
And the vandalism at the Capitol was beginning before he was done speaking, and the rioters had ropes and other paraphernalia that showed they planned ahead, undermining any allegation that Trump’s speech could possibly have incited them.
Pelosi on Thursday rejected any notion that Trump would be acquitted. He was, of course, in her first failed impeach-and-remove attempt against the president a year ago, and while Pelosi often mentions that he is “impeached forever,” she neglects to note that he also is “acquitted forever” in that case.
The likelihood of his conviction on Pelosi’s second scheme remains distant, according to prognosticators, since he would have to be convicted by all 50 Democrat senators as well as at least 17 Republicans. And a preliminary vote on the issue showed there were 45 senators who didn’t even think the trial in the Senate should be held.
Fox News said Pelosi affirmed that her House members trying to convince senators to return a conviction “will make the case. … I have great confidence in them.”
Trump’s legal defense team already has explained to Congress that the impeachment is null and void since Trump already has concluded his first term as president and no longer is subject to the constitutional penalty of being removed from office.
And even Democrats have admitted their real agenda is they want to include a provision that Trump never can run for office again, because he still would be eligible for another term in the Oval Office, and they fear what would happen to their candidate should he return to the campaign trail for the 2024 election.
Asked why Congress should bother with a trial, however unlikely a conviction would be for someone who would not be subject the specified penalty, Pelosi erupted.
“Why bother? Ask our founders. Why bother? Ask those who wrote the Constitution. Ask Abraham Lincoln. Ask anyone who cares about our democracy.”
Democrats had told Trump’s lawyers that they wanted him to submit to their cross-examination under oath, but they quickly were rebuffed.
“The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News Thursday.
The call for the former president to undergo a grilling had come from Rep. Jamie Raskin, one of Pelosi’s hand-picked impeachment managers.
Raskin included a threat in his invitation to Trump to testify: “If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.”
Historian Jay Winik recently told “Special Report” on Fox that Democrats eventually will be hurt by their actions, since their persistence feels “vindictive.”
“I think there is something that feels a little bit vindictive, a little bit harsh in all of this and that is not really the American way,” he said.
The Democrats in Congress have been unable even to secure Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to preside, a requirement of the Constitution, so they have replaced him with one of their own, partisan, senators.
Commentator Andy Schlafly recently noted, “A dumber stunt by the Democrats than proceeding with impeachment is difficult to imagine. This will remind Americans that Trump remains the most powerful figure in America, while the ghost-like Joe Biden occupies the White House as a mere puppet for leftists who direct him.”
He predicted the attack on Trump would boost his standing within the Republican Party as well as among the general public.
“Trump’s inevitable victory at the end of this foolish impeachment will return him triumphantly to the center of the political world. Meanwhile, lame-duck Joe Biden is diminished by this process, because the Senate Democrats would not be going after Trump unless they felt he still holds immense power,” he explained.
He noted the Democrats likely are to be deprived of even a small victory:
“Some Democrats think they could vote to disqualify Trump from holding office again, but that notion is absurd. As a private citizen who meets the qualifications set by the Constitution, Trump remains free to run for president, be elected and serve a second term,” he said.
“Essentially, House Democrats impeached Trump for expressing the political opinion that ‘we won this election’ – an opinion shared by a large majority of the 74 million Americans who voted for him. By treating such an opinion as if it were ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ the Democrats have severely undermined the very democracy that they sanctimoniously claim to defend.”
In fact, constitutional experts have pointed out that under the Pelosi precedent, a GOP majority House following the 2022 election could impeach a President Biden, and a Vice President Harris, without even having any crime to cite. A GOP majority in the Senate, if it could assemble 67 votes, could convict and remove.