Nancy Pelosi is finally all in. Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trumpwas as much monumental as it was anti-climatic. It always seemed as if we all knew that impeachment was an unwritten chapter that would eventually engulf Donald Trump’s presidency.
Pelosi has long resisted throwing her weight, and her office, behind impeachment, going so far as to say that Trump’s “just not worth it”. But, news of a July 25thphone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump urged Mr. Zelensky to look into Joe and Hunter Biden was the final straw. What followed was a never-ending cascade of Democratic House members announcing their support of an impeachment inquiry.
On the House floor Congressman John Lewis delivered a stirring speech announcing his support of an inquiry. In his speech he said that,“the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To delay, or to do otherwise, would betray the foundation of our democracy.” Mr. Lewis’ words are carried the weight befitting of one of America’s most significant living figures. Hours after Mr. Lewis left the floor, Nancy Pelosi addressed the nation and announced her own support of a formal inquiry.
The swelling of support was too much for the speaker to continue to look the other way. Anything less than a full-throated endorsement would have resulted in a serious threat to her effectiveness as speaker.
“To delay, or to do otherwise, would betray the foundation of our democracy”Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) on an impeachment inquiry into President Trump
For a while the number of reasons for impeaching the president could equal the number of reasons not too. Evidence of obstruction of justice matched concerns of an inquiry aiding the president’s re-election bid, and whether or not the actions of the president rose to the frustratingly mythical threshold of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” laid out in Article II of the Constitution.
The calls for impeachment have been continual for nearly two and a half years, amplified by Democrats re-taking control of the House and the Mueller report published in April. These calls have in many ways diminished the unique gravity of such an endurance. Divisiveness and partisanship have tainted the somberness, gravity, and seriousness that should befit a presidential impeachment.
Donald J. Trump is now only the fourth president to face such an exercise in accountability and self-governance. The allegations, and supporting memo of the call and whistleblower complaint, is without the taint of partisanship that followed the Mueller investigation. His staunchest of defenders have found themselves unable to coherently defend Trump’s actions. Congressman Justin Amash, a former republican, has long supported an inquiry into the president.
Pelosi has continually proven herself to be one of the great political tacticians of the 21stcentury. Pelosi’s support of Trump’s impeachment is a nightmare for Trump. Trump’s feelings toward her are a cocktail of fear, anger, and awe. Pelosi will now have to tactfully lead the House, and the country, through the sobering impeachment process.