What to Watch in the Week Ahead on the Impeachment Front

Francis Lanzano Contributor
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Read Time: approx. 2:41

🗳️ Welcome to our Politics feed where we Tag important topics and Flag key takeaways. 📭 Sign up to our nonpartisan newsletter to have these stories delivered directly to your inbox every morning. 📷 Cover: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. CC 2.0, Gage Skidmore

Tag This: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday ended weeks of speculation surrounding the Democrats’ impeachment effort, announcing the House would vote as early as this week to send a pair of articles to the Senate. Yesterday Pelosi defended her decision to temporarily hold the articles from the upper chamber by claiming the decision forced “the public to see the need for witnesses.” The speaker also responded to the President’s tweet ahead of her appearance on @ThisWeekABC:

What’s next: If the House sends its slate of impeachment managers to the Senate on Tuesday, it would trigger the trial the following day

  • Why the managers matter: Politico notes that if President Trump’s trial follows the blueprint of Bill Clinton’s “in its rules, the opportunity to call witnesses will come after the presentation of the trial and the senators’ questioning of both sides. This makes the managers incredibly important for those seeking witnesses.”

Flag This: the timing comes just as Democratic presidential contenders, including several sitting members of the Senate, make their final push ahead of the Iowa caucuses. 

With three weeks to go until then, Bernie Sanders is leading the pack causing some to think that if he is pulled away from the campaign trail it could create a pathway for Joe Biden to surge at just the right time. So how’s it playing?

  • On the rightKevin Williamson of National Review says that “The Democrats would have been far better off simply telling the truth about Trump’s failings and challenging him at the polls rather than presenting this as an apocalyptic drama that cannot wait for an election and resolution on ordinary democratic terms.
  • On the LeftThe LA Times op-ed section adds that it’s time to “get this over with and prepare for the election, which will be a close battle in the familiar swing states. The people will have the final say.”

The Takeaway: all eyes will be on whether or not the Senate decides to call additional witnesses. It was only a week ago that Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said that he would testify should he be subpoenaed by the Senate. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made it clear he’d prefer no witnesses, some Republicans would like to hear from Bolton and others, The Hill notes.

Case and Point: The Bangor Daily News reported that “U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters on Friday that she is working with a ‘fairly small group’ of fellow Republican senators toward a goal of ensuring witnesses can be called in the chamber’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.” To make that happen, Democrats need four Republicans to agree to hear from witnesses.