On Wednesday morning, Nancy Pelosi, clad in a black dress to match her grave and somber mood, told House members, “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty,” adding:
It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.
[T]he president is an ongoing threat to our national security.
We in Congress must make clear that this body still stands in the Constitution and defends it. Today we are here to defend democracy.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night. The vote on impeachment had just been taken with 230 House members, none of them Republican, voting for impeachment, while 197, two of them Democrat, voted against it. Pelosi’s mission was clear.
But when a member of the press asked her when she planned to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate so they could set a date for the trial, Pelosi’s answer was effectively “meh.” According to Politico:
Senior Democratic aides said the House was “very unlikely” to take the steps necessary to send the articles to the Senate until at least early January, a delay of at least two weeks and perhaps longer.
Why the delay? Byron York of the Washington Examiner explains:
Pelosi says she won't choose impeachment managers or send them to Senate until Senate agrees on trial rules: 'When we see what they have, we'll know who and how many to send over.'
— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 19, 2019
Suddenly, the urgency — the fear that Donald Trump was going to keep on cheating, inviting foreign powers to help him rig the 2020 election — was gone.
The Democrats, for all their professed (and sudden) love of the Constitution, seem to be doing everything in their power to thumb their nose at that document, which specifies that “the Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”