The House judiciary committee spent an exhausting 14 hours squabbling about the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Thursday, then went home without having voted on on the matter. A vote is scheduled for this morning, and it’s a safe bet the committee will pass two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on strict party lines and set up a vote by the full House.
The House Republicans can continue to slow things down with amendments they know won’t be passed, and conspiracy theories that can’t be proved, and non-stop points of order and indignant complaints about the constitutional process, but eventually the overwhelming Democratic majority in the House will vote to impeach Trump. The Democrats’ voters want Trump out of office as soon as possible, all of the evidence so far indicates that Trump is guilty of what they’re charging him with, and only the Republicans are fearful of what Trump might “tweet” about it.
Trump has been “tweeting” even more than usual, setting a presidential record with 105 “tweets” on Sunday and more than 90 during Thursday’s impeachment session. He took time out of his busy day to taunt a 16-year-old climate change activist after she was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” but mostly it’s been diatribes abut hoaxes and witch hunts and diabolically crazed Democrats. He’s not offering any exculpatory evidence, is blocking key witnesses from giving testimony to Congress, and his taunts are increasingly lame and his “tweets” increasingly ignored.
The smart is money is betting that Trump won’t be removed from office by the Senate, where the Republicans have a slight majority and a supermajority is required for a conviction, but he and his party will likely be bruised by the process. According to the Constitution the trial in the Senate will be presided by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and given his reputation for nonpartisanship he’s likely to compel the testimony of those key witnesses Trump has thus far muzzled, and we expect there’s good reason Trump doesn’t want them to testify. The Republicans in the House have been playing to the die-hard Trump supporters, the Republicans in the Senate will mostly do the same, and to everyone who’s paying attention but the die-hards they look ridiculous.
The good news for Republicans is that there are a lot die-hard fans and much of the country isn’t paying attention.
— Bud Norman