Public House hearings moved this week from the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee, and three law professors — ranging from the merely left-leaning to the unreconstructed leftist — testified on Wednesday about the Constitution’s impeachment standards and whether President Donald Trump’s conduct on his July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amounted to the level of an impeachable offense As I wrote in a Daily Wire op-ed, this hearing — along with the entirety of the current impeachment charade — was a monumental waste of time: “Why do we need three left-leaning law school professors — who, by definition of their ivory tower perches, all emanate from one of America’s leading institutional bastions of sclerotic and ideologically monolithic groupthink — to tell us something that no less a Founding Father luminary than Alexander Hamilton quite clearly told us himself [The Federalist No. 65]? Why, for that matter, do we need weeks of subpoenas, depositions, and hearings to recount first-, second-, and third-hand accounts about a diplomatic phone call for which the transcript is … literally already public?”
The big news yesterday was that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made it official that the House will formally impeach. As James Barrett of The Daily Wire reported: “A day after the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it official Thursday morning: The Democrats are moving forward on drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. … ‘Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders, and our heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with the articles of impeachment,’ said Pelosi.” For whatever it may be worth, Pelosi seems to have now genuinely bought into the argument that Trump ought to be impeached — in fairly marked contradistinction to her previous two to three years of stonewalling the efforts of the more left-leaning congressmen who sought impeachment. Either that, or the speaker is a better actor than I had ever realized she is.
National polling remains narrowly in favor of impeachment. As of December 4, 2019, FiveThirtyEight indicates that Americans now support impeachment by a 3.8% margin. This is pretty consistent with the past few weeks’ of national polling. Nonetheless, as I noted last week, impeachment still polls underwaterin many of the key swing states for next November. It seems entirely plausible, therefore, that House Democrats may be rushing their current impeachment push to get it out of the news cycle as quickly as possible in advance of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. If that were truly House Democrats’ timing calculation, then that would amount to a catastrophic error in political judgment. But, to borrow from poker terminology, House Democrats are now “pot-committed” to holding the impeachment vote.
Moving forward, the only big questions are (1) when the Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)-led House Judiciary Committee will formally draft articles of impeachment and (2) when Pelosi will stage a formal chamber-wide impeachment vote. Many have expected the Democrats to rush their formal impeachment vote to take place before Christmas, but there has been some recent speculation that Pelosi may push the vote into the new year. Alas, no matter when Pelosi holds the vote, impeachment will be dead on arrival upon its progression to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Senate.
This piece will be frequently updated.