I spent some time this morning, while waiting for my dogs to shit, organizing my understanding of what’s going on with impeachment right now because it can be easy to lose track at the breakneck speed everything has been going.
As most of us know, the House took the official vote to formalize the impeachment yesterday. They didn’t have to legally, but they did it.
What that means is that it moves into a new form, and that official, on-the-record votes have been cast. Justin Amash, former Republican, now an independent, voted with Democrats. Two Democrats voted against it (Jeff Van Drew of NJ and Collin Peterson of MN).
It forced lawmakers to go on the record voting for or against the investigation - not impeachment itself. I’m not sure any of the Republicans’ election prospects are all that affected by the vote, but because Democrats represent more swing districts, theirs might be. I don’t think that was a good enough reason to not proceed, but it is a reality that we now must deal with.
The Constitution grants the House wide latitude to decide the rules governing the investigation, which was the argument early on for moving ahead with impeachment months and months ago. This is by far the most important outcome of the resolution vote. The biggies are:
- The inquiry will be governed by the House Intelligence Committee, led by Adam Schiff.
- They will now be holding public hearings.
- Normally, committee members all get 5 minutes to question a witness, use it for grandstanding, and no one learns anything. Under the new rules, Schiff can extend his own time to up to 45 minutes (as long as ranking member Devin Fucking Nunes gets the same courtesy). I wish they hadn’t have included that last part but it’s probably best for the appearance of fairness. Also, Schiff may do this multiple times.
This is significant because now witnesses cannot effectively filibuster through their time, and there won’t be constant interruptions.
Republicans, predictably, were super mad this was being done behind closed doors and said they needed to take the formal vote and did Pizza Gaetz, and then, even more predictably, are now super mad everything is going to be in public and think they should have never taken that vote. Whodathunk?!
Me neither, so I found this great and not-at-all-confusing summary (it’s a little confusing). You can categorize everything in that chart I linked, and here is it is showing only testimonies.
There are a lot of players and it’s hard to keep track.
One big development is that yesterday, the first nearly-current (resigned on Wednesday) WH official testified. He corroborated that Trump has done the bad things, and that Sondland knew about the things he did, and that he was very worried and talked to some higher ups about it trying to decide what to do. Some dipshits decided one quote - “I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” - was super damning to the Democrats’ efforts. Everyone else with a brain knows that this guy is not actually in charge of what is illegal, and that none of this has to be illegal to impeach him!
John Bolton has said he will comply with a subpoena but will not come voluntarily, so maybe he’s not the hero we all
The overall situation is that there is a narrative coming to light of a long-term effort - going back way before The Phonecall - to extort Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani was running around pressuring people to fire the ambassador months and months ago. During a meeting in July, they tried to pressure the president of Ukraine to literally go on CNN and announce an investigation into Hunter Biden. Then The Phonecall.
What’s going to happen? Here’s what I think: Rumor has it (or maybe this has changed by now) that Democrats are saying they want to get this shit done quickly for GOD KNOWS WHY, but they will try and fail at this. The number of crimes they keep uncovering, while Trump is simultaneously committing more crimes, will prevent that from happening.
The Senate is already using the excuse that the election is right around the corner, so we shouldn’t do this at all. That’ll get worse the longer this goes on, but they’re already doing it so I don’t see why we cater to their stupid arguments.
The House will end up timing it so impeachment happens in the spring, and the Senate will try to get the trial done by the conventions in the summer. The House will vote to impeach with the bare minimum number of Democrats voting for it, to give the swing district Democrats cover. The Senate will vote to acquit because it will fall short of the very high number of votes it needs to remove him (67!), but it will not break along party lines. Vulnerable Republican Senators, depending on polling in their states, will vote to convict. Doug Jones and Kysten Sinema (at least) will vote to acquit.
I’ve said this before, but if the Republican establishment is going to abandon Trump, they’re going to do it very quickly so that they can move on before next year’s elections. The fact that we are not seeing that leads me to believe it won’t happen.
ETA - thanks to Ghost for this informative tweet thread: