Republican alleges Pelosi is trying to help Biden with delay
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California pointed out Sunday that Bernie Sanders, who is in the top tier among Democrats in Iowa, won’t be able to campaign in the final weeks before the caucuses because he’ll be serving as a juror in the Senate. McCarthy suggested Pelosi had gamed the calendar to help former Vice President Joe Biden, who won’t have to be in Washington for the trial — an allegation for which there’s no evidence.
“The Iowa caucus is on February 3rd,” McCarthy said Sunday on Fox News. “Bernie Sanders is in first place, and what this does is benefit Joe Biden. This harms Sen. Sanders, who is in first place and could become their nominee, because he will be stuck in a chair because Nancy Pelosi held the papers.”
Warren, Sanders and Klobuchar will be off the trail
McCarthy didn’t mention that in addition to Sanders, Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would be summoned to impeachment jury duty. (Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is still in the race, but he won’t be on the debate stage Tuesday.)
Sanders complained about it during a rally in Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday.
“Between you and me I’d rather be here in Iowa, but I have a constitutional responsibility, which I accept as a United States senator, to be a juror in Trump’s impeachment trial. So I’ll be there.”
“There are some things that are more important than politics, and if we have an impeachment proceeding going on, I will be there,” she said.
Klobuchar has talked about getting creative, floating the idea of Skype and tele-town halls, and flying in for late-night rallies after Senate proceedings.
Biden and a Senate subpoena
Trump has changed his mind about impeachment
He used to claim he wanted to defend himself in the Senate, calling witnesses and putting on a show. Today Trump admitted on Twitter that he just wants impeachment to end. A trial, he said, gives the whole thing legitimacy.
The President’s tweet: “Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!”
Pelosi answered on Twitter that a dismissal without a trial in the Senate is the same as a cover-up.
More 2020: Bloomberg wants some credit for impeachment
The trial will be a headache for the senators taken off the campaign trail, but other candidates are treating it differently.
Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and Republican turned independent turned Democrat, didn’t actually endorse the idea of impeachment until mid-December, right around the time the House voted for it, which was also just about the time he was jumping into the Democratic primary.
Now, however, his campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, wants Bloomberg to get some credit for impeachment. Appearing on CNN, Sheekey mentioned the idea floated by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon that because Bloomberg, during the midterm election campaign in 2018, supported Democrats running in districts won by Trump in 2016, and those new lawmakers supported impeaching Trump, that he’s responsible.
Sheekey said on CNN that Bloomberg will similarly make waves in the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday, when some large states — including California — hold primaries. “Steve Bannon’s view was you got to watch out for Mike Bloomberg and the atomic bomb — his words, not mine — about to go off on March 3rd. That’s a warning shot for the President.”
When Democrats found their way to impeachment
Biden supported impeachment after the Ukraine scandal broke in September.
New documents coming — In a joint filing in DC District Court on Monday, the US Department of Energy and the watchdog group American Oversight have agreed that the department will begin producing documents related to Ukraine by January 28. Will the Senate trial still be going on?
Who will be on Trump’s team? — Stephen Castor, the House GOP attorney featured during House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings, and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio met with the President’s lawyers about the upcoming impeachment trial, an official told CNN.
It’s not clear who Trump will have represent him at impeachment hearings.
Senators like John Cornyn of Texas have argued that his team should not include House Republicans.
“I think the President is entitled to a defense counsel of his choosing. My advice to him would be: Let’s not infect the Senate trial with the circuslike atmosphere of the House. And I think there would be an increased risk of doing that if you start inviting House members to come over to the Senate and try the case,” Cornyn said.
Mike Pompeo will skip Iran testimony — Members of Congress would also have some questions for the secretary of state on Ukraine, but Pompeo, who is in California, won’t appear at a House Foreign Affairs hearing Tuesday.
What are we doing here?
The President has invited foreign powers to interfere in the US presidential election. Democrats impeached him for it. A Senate trial is next. It is a crossroads for the American system of government as the President tries to change what’s acceptable for US politicians. This newsletter will focus on this consequential moment in US history.