But for one day at least, it sure didn’t seem that way
This dramatic and historic day culminated with an announcement by Speaker Nancy Pelosi: the House will begin impeachment proceedings. Pelosi saying Trump’s demonstrated:
“Betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections….The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution.”
Here’s Pelosi’s entire announcement, which is pretty brief (click on the photo to watch):
That doesn’t mean the House is going to vote tomorrow, or even sometime soon. Just that there’s an impeachment inquiry now open, so she’s got the ball rolling.
And over in the Senate, the Intelligence Committee seems to be laying the groundwork to interview the whistleblower who first brought Trump’s meddling to the attention of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, and the Acting Director of National Intelligence. Only to be stopped dead in their tracks by the Justice Department.
Trump meanwhile Tweeted he’ll release a complete and unredacted transcript today of his phone conversation with Ukraine’s leader, while continuing to cry “total Witch Hunt Scam”. Although Politico now says the transcript might not come out before tomorrow or Friday.
Earlier in the day Trump gave a speech at the United Nations. The Tweet below from CNBC is meant to show Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross falling asleep during that speech. But forget about that. That doesn’t matter at all. (Anyway, we’ve given up on trying to figure out why Trump’s hasn’t fired Ross, who’s caused him one embarrassment after another, when he’s fired so many others.)
Click on it, and focus instead on the President: he’s delivering a major international address, and it’s like he’s not even there.
Trump used to love hanging out at the U.N. General Assembly (even though he doesn’t love the U.N.) We can only imagine the boundless validation and adoration he gets from any leader of a country who wants something from the U.S.
Trump’s sure-fire instinct for insults misfired badly this day too, as he sniped at 16-year old environmental activist Greta Thunberg:
To which she replied by changing her Twitter status to this:
In the midst of all of this, Trump also Retweeted a clip of himself saying he deserves to get a Nobel Prize.
But sorry for going down the garden path a little bit. Impeachment is dead serious business. So we don’t expect Trump to remain so dispirited or off his game for very long. And in fact, as he defends his conduct from the friendly confines of Twitter, he’s already entering what we call “Judge Judy” territory. That’s because she always likes to remind us that liars have to have excellent memories, otherwise their story will keep changing.
Trump over the weekend insisted the primary topic of conversation of the phone call with the Ukrainian President “was largely corruption — all of the corruption taking place. It was largely the fact that we don’t want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine”. But now he’s saying it was about “Germany, France, and other countries” not putting up enough money of their own and actually, “that’s been my complaint the whole time”.
But a lot of times we think Trump isn’t really trying to really prove anything he’s saying is true. The message instead might be nothing is true, and that means anything’s possible, even the direct opposite of what seems glaringly obvious.
Another question we saw being asked a lot is what changed Nancy Pelosi’s mind? She was dead set against impeachment after the Mueller report, and now she’s not. We don’t know, and it may not be even really be an important question right now. We don’t really buy the argument, that actually started with Pelosi, and echoed in the media that there weren’t facts before, and there are facts now. All we can (and did) tell you is why we changed our mind over the weekend.
Whatever the reason, Pelosi’s is a bold political move that comes with huge risk, but also for the first time real opportunity. Trump could still prevail. But even if his messaging is as on point with its obfuscation as it was with the Mueller report, things are a little different now.
There’s more of a pattern of wrongdoing now, or at least there appears to be. And that seems to have moved a wave of previously reluctant Democrats. Or maybe it’s just people finally getting fed up with the sheer mayhem of this Presidency. And Trump’s compulsive, conspicuous corruption lies a lot more naked.