House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, leader of the Democratic effort to impeach President Trump, told colleagues recently that impeachment is “an urgent matter that cannot wait.”

Why? Why is it so urgent that Trump, who has been in office for nearly three years and will stand for re-election in 11 months -- why is it so urgent that he be impeached and removed this very moment?

The reasons probably have more to do with Democratic political priorities than with anything Trump has done or will do.

Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi deny any political motive in impeaching the president. Perish the thought! Pelosi says Democrats are acting “sadly, prayerfully, [and] with a heavy heart.” But they are racing to get the job done by Christmas. They’re not even trying to hear from some key witnesses, like former National Security Adviser John Bolton, because they don’t want to take the time to go to court over it.

The rush is because Democrats are running up against two very political deadlines.

The first is the approach of Democratic presidential caucuses and primaries.

The Iowa caucuses will be held on Feb. 3, and the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11. As a practical matter, it will be very hard to get impeachment done by then.

Look at the example of Bill Clinton 20 years ago: The House voted articles of impeachment on Dec. 19, 1998. The Senate trial began on Jan. 7, 1999, and Clinton was acquitted on Feb. 12. It seems unlikely that House Democrats, who will ultimately have to deal with a Republican-controlled Senate, will be able to move any faster.

Impeachment during the primaries creates multiple problems for Democrats. One is that it underscores, regardless of the disclaimers, the essentially political nature of this impeachment. The fact is, Democrats are impeaching the president in an election year with the goal of rendering him unelectable against the Democratic candidate. It doesn’t get more political than that.

Then there is the practical problem impeachment creates for Democratic presidential candidates. At the moment, there are six Democratic senators running for president.

Presumably, some will drop out by next February. But it seems likely that other senators, like top contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, will still be in the running. Instead of campaigning, though, they will be chained to their desks in the Senate chamber in Washington for the duration of a Senate impeachment trial.

That’s not the best way for a candidate to spend the weeks leading up to caucuses and primaries. The other reason for the Democratic rush is the potential for impeachment fatigue. Some recent polls have shown public support for impeachment leveling off and even tipping downward.

The public has already been through years of the Trump-Russia investigation, culminating in this year’s aborted effort by Democrats to impeach the president on the basis of the Mueller report.

Then, in September, Democrats turned on a dime and sought to impeach him in the Ukraine matter.

Pelosi and her colleagues clearly saw impeachment as a winner; she declared an inquiry even before the White House released the transcript of the now-famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

But something has happened since then. At the beginning of the Trump-Ukraine matter, the public mostly heard a narrative created by Democrats and their allies in the media. Trump had abused power, he had engaged in a quid pro quo, or bribery, or extortion, and he had jeopardized national security. It sounded bad. Support for impeachment grew.

Then came public hearings. Democrats got enormous exposure for their case against the president — wall-to-wall coverage on the big three broadcast networks and all the cable news channels.

And what did a significant portion of the public see? A bafflingly complicated tale of bureaucratic infighting, mostly about Ukraine. Is this what Democrats would remove the president for? Support for impeachment stopped growing.

As it turned out, the much-awaited hearings had exactly the opposite effect than Democrats hoped. Pelosi and Schiff wanted to create a compelling TV show to dramatize Trump wrongdoing.

Millions of Americans would be won over. Instead, the public got something that a reasonably attentive viewer would have a hard time figuring out.

So now the quickie hearings are over and Schiff and his Intelligence Committee colleagues are at work -- prayerfully, no doubt -- on a report of their findings. That report will go to the House Judiciary Committee, which will swiftly draft articles of impeachment. Whatever articles the committee approves will then be sent to the full House for a vote.

By that time, Christmas will be fast approaching. If House Democrats make that deadline, and approve articles against the president, a Senate trial will follow after New Year’s. And then will come Iowa.

So Schiff is rushing, rushing, rushing. (Yes, the House is on a Thanksgiving break, but the impeachment staff is hard at work.) Impeachment is “an urgent matter that cannot wait.” Because politics demands it.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

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(23) comments

HwyRovr

Intelligence agencies around the world have alerted our intelligence operations that the Russians – with the blessing of the scum squatting in our White House – are once again attempting to influence our election through the use of social media and low-life operations such as FAUX News, NewsMax along with Republiscum members of Congress. For the most part the purveyors of this trash can be easily identified because they are – as a group – dumber than a box of Palin’s. They never actually respond to factual information and choose to use the term “fake” or “liar” as their witty rejoinder. Best advice is to realize when you see such nonsense you are actually seeing Comrade Dumbsky doing the bidding of his/her handlers and to either ignore them, or call them out as tools of the Russians.

JVW

The Worst man made disaster Leftism

HwyRovr

Cut and paste alert.

VA172

The master of cut and paste criticizing someone else of the same thing he does.

HwyRovr

Ah, look at you! Coming here with your obsession about me to criticize. You're so cute. The fact that I do a considerable amount of cutting and pasting, have never denied it and am roundly criticized for it, does not preclude my right to point out when others do the same. Or are y0u saying I do not have the right to criticize others the way I am criticized?

dougleonard6

[thumbup]

HavasuGuy

They need to get him out of the White House as soon as possible so we can start to get rid of the smell....

JVW

Democrats Can't Win. This has been their agenda since 2016. 2020 they will be crying in the woods Burning up city's screaming China hacked the iPhone [lol][lol]

HwyRovr

Once again, for God's sake Comrade tell your handler you need additional English lessons!

simon1dog

JVW - [thumbup]

HwyRovr

The sooner the loser is impeached the better. Still waiting for some Republiscum to answer the following:

1) If Trump is as innocent as he claims, then why is he blocking

the witnesses who have first hand knowledge to testify?

2) Why is Trump claiming the hearings were done in secret when the FACT is there were 45 republicans between three committees?

3) Why is Trump claiming these republicans on the committees could not ask questions, when they COULD ask questions?

4). Why is Trump claiming he and his attorney can not participate in the hearings. When they have been invited to participate?

5) Why doesn't Trump himself testify? Both Clintons testified in front of congress.

6). Why are Republiscums refusing to read the transcripts from both the Mueller report and the recent hearings?

VA172

[yawn]

HwyRovr

Always time to make a fool out of yourself and yet not a minute to actually address the questions. But I am so pleased to see you back with your infatuation for me. You honor me each time your obsession for me wins out over common sense.

JVW

Lil rovR. All Propaganda, you Swallow it Like a Champ

1). Trump Released the Call transcript. Case closed

2). The Hearings were done in the Basement of the Capitol FACT.

3). You're just plain wrong here. Go Back and watch the Schiff show in its entirety> imagine how it went in the Closed door secret Bunker.

4). This is another goofy Liberal Socialist spin. This is the Schiff show. We will get to the Attorney's.

5) There is no need. Refer to #1

6). Muller was a Big Farse 3 Years of Nothing a big distraction of the Real Scandal. What did Obama tell the Russian President on an open Mic? What Did Biden Tell the Media about the Prosecutor investigating Burisma? Your amazing at cut and Paste Look this Stuff up. Stop Spreading Lefty Socialism propaganda

PS. This is Throne past time I set this time aside just for you

HwyRovr

“HwyRovr” – “farce” - “you’re” – “Socialist” -

1) The transcript was heavily redacted. Lie exposed.

2) Non-public hearings have always been done in secure, basement conference rooms. FACT!

3) There is no “secret bunker” – it is the same secure conference rooms used for all kinds of hearings.

4) There are over 20 instances of Chairman Shiff inviting the fool and his crew to appear and all the liar-in-chief does is tell people to ignore subpoenas – for which they should be held in contempt of Congress and locked up until they comply. What is the fool so terrified of – oh yeah, the truth! And what do you mean “We will get to the attorneys?” with what threats, money, blackmail?

5) Most assuredly there is a need to address this one and I will repeat it so you get it - “Why doesn't Trump himself testify? Both Clinton's testified in front of congress.”

What in the hell is “throne past time?” Seriously, outside of your pathetic cut-n-paste (most likely from Faux News) you desperately need to tell your handler you need additional English lessons.

dougleonard6

fake rovr info...

dougleonard6

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

dougleonard6

[spam][spam][spam][spam]

HwyRovr

And yet you can never disprove any ting I post. Why is that, comrade?

simon1dog

Quote: "So Schiff is rushing, rushing, rushing. (Yes, the House is on a Thanksgiving break, but the impeachment staff is hard at work.) Impeachment is “an urgent matter that cannot wait.” Because politics demands it." End quote and case closed.

HavasuGuy

I'm glad you finally understand that tRUMP has to go! Good for you simon!

simon1dog

You "misread between the lines" HG :-)

HavasuGuy

We need to rush so we can get the smell out of the White House!

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