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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Thomas Gallatin / Nov. 1, 2019

Dems Pass Impeachment Inquiry on Party-Line Vote

Pelosi’s resolution essentially rubber-stamps the Democrats’ impeachment efforts.

The Democrat-controlled House finally voted Thursday on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s anti-Trump impeachment-inquiry resolution, which easily passed 232 to 196 along party lines. Not a single Republican voted in favor of the Democrats’ “inquiry,” while two Democrats broke with their party in voting against it. In any case, the resolution merely rubber-stamps the coup 2.0 charade Democrats have already been running. Let’s just say it’s ironic that this witch hunt advanced on Halloween.

Following the vote, Pelosi bloviated, “We gather here … to proudly raise our hands to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” What outrageously phony claptrap. She then disingenuously asserted, “This is not any cause for any glee or comfort. This is something that is very solemn, that is something prayerful, and that we had to gather so much information to take us to this next step.”

Following the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted the Democrats’ real motivation: “Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they can’t defeat him at the ballot box. This impeachment is not only an attempt to undo the last election; it is an attempt to influence the next one too. If this approach becomes the new norm, it would be a disaster for democracy. The balance of power between the sovereign people and their representatives will shift further away from the people.”

Irrespective of Pelosi’s almost comical assertions, she and her fellow Democrats have been planning and orchestrating this purely partisan charade ever since they retook control of the House. Impeaching President Donald Trump, regardless of anything he has done, has been the Democrats’ goal since his improbable election victory.

That said, it does appear that Pelosi’s hand was somewhat forced as it became clear that the optics of the Democrats holding an impeachment inquiry without a resolution was damaging the “credibility” of their case. Now Pelosi can somewhat blunt Republican criticism that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate.

However, Republicans have also gained from this vote. They now have a record of where all House members stand on impeachment. This will certainly come into play in swing districts Republicans lost in 2018.

So, back to the actual impeachment inquiry. What does it do and what does it not do? The inquiry is still controlled by Democrats, with Rep. Adam Schiff retaining his lead position. Greater transparency is positive, as it increases the possibility of due process being respected — a factor that has been sorely lacking to date. But as long as the hyper-partisan Schiff remains the face of this inquiry, it will be transparently partisan. In any case, Republicans need to shift focus away from process complaints and toward defending against the charges being raised.

Speaking of which, the “bombshell” claim from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert — that the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had conspicuously omitted further comments about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden — was contradicted in Thursday’s closed-door hearing with former White House official Tim Morrison. He stated that he was “not concerned that anything illegal was discussed” and argued that the transcript did not omit any relevant information or key details. This serves as yet another reminder of why this whole inquiry needs to be as transparent as possible, not held behind closed doors while bits and pieces of information are leaked to an overwhelmingly partisan press.

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