Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated her preference for perusing an aggressive legislative agenda and cutting bait on Impeachment until Mueller issues his report.
West Palm Beach Florida Democratic activist and attorney James Carroll makes his case in the Op-Ed section of USA today that that strategy may allow Trump to further fortify his position and strengthen his assault on democracy.
“The presumptive speaker wants to focus on pursuing an ambitious legislative agenda. That won’t get far with block-everything Mitch McConnell running the Senate and a budding authoritarian in the White House. In any event, the House can do more than one thing at a time, and the top priority is the impeachment inquiry, which the House can pursue to conclusion regardless of McConnell.
The House also needs to start an impeachment inquiry now so it can pick up the pieces if Mueller is fired, or take up the slack if Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker constricts Mueller.
Many suggest impeachment by the House would waste everybody’s time because the two-thirds majority necessary to convict in the Republican-controlled Senate will never be achieved. That’s putting the cart way before the horse. We can’t predict what the Senate will do after a thorough House impeachment inquiry (eventually including Mueller’s findings), which will play nonstop for months on national television. More than half the public disapproves of Trump's job performance and that will climb as the revelations mount. Republican senators at some point will have to take note.
But say for argument’s sake that the Senate doesn’t convict. What then? As incoming House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler said recently, even if Trump is not convicted, impeachment “may in fact be necessary and successful at saying, in effect, ‘You have violated the constitutional order, you are threatening the constitutional order, you will stop threatening the constitutional order. You will stop threatening the rule of law.’” In addition, the revelations that emerged in the impeachment inquiry would be of great interest to voters in deciding whether to remove him in 2020.
The House should initiate an impeachment inquiry as soon as the new Congress is sworn in.”
Reasonable people can disagree on whether immediate impeachment proceedings is good politics, so I expect a good deal of push back when I say that I agree with peril.
But Trump and his GOP enablers will not stop their attempts to burn down our Democratic institutions until a serious resistance is mounted.
They may not stop even then.
But sooner is better than later in beginning this battle.