“This is a very sad time for our country. There is no joy in this,” said Nancy Pelosi Saturday.
“We must be somber. We must be prayerful. … I’m heartbroken about it.”
Thus did the speaker profess her anguish — just four days after announcing that her Democratic House would conduct an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
But is this how it really went down? Is this how Pelosi came to authorize an impeachment inquiry before she read the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?
Another explanation, based on the actual events, suggests itself.
By late September, Pelosi was under constant fire from the House “resistance” that wanted Trump impeached and whose numbers were slowly growing. What was the speaker to do?
The judiciary committee is the body historically authorized by a vote of the full House to conduct impeachment inquiries. But to Pelosi this was looking like a loser, a dead end, a formula for failure followed by a backlash against House Democrats and her own removal as speaker in January 2021, if not before.
How so? Her judiciary committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, in his investigation of Trump, had presided over a debacle of a hearing where Trump ally Corey Lewandowski mocked the members. House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth called the hearing a “fiasco.”
Thus, when news broke of a July 25 conversation between Trump and the president of Ukraine, during which Trump allegedly urged Zelensky “eight times” to investigate Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden’s connections to corrupt oligarchs, Pelosi seized upon it to solve all her problems.
To satisfy the red-hots in her Democratic caucus, she announced an impeachment inquiry on her own. To spare her moderates the pain of having to vote for or against an inquiry, she skipped the floor vote.
To ensure the investigation was done swiftly, she took the franchise from Nadler and his judiciary committee and handed it to Adam Schiff and the intelligence committee. Now she is urging a narrowing of the articles of impeachment to just one — Trump’s request of Ukraine’s president to look into the Bidens.