Donald Trump on Monday responded to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to rule out a second impeachment to trigger a Senate trial that would delay its confirmation process of his coming Supreme Court pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg by essentially daring her to do so.
“So they’re impeaching me because I’m doing constitutionally what I’m supposed to do,” the president told Fox News in a morning telephone interview. “If they do, I think my numbers will go up.”
The GOP president predicted, should House Democrats gain impeach him as a stalling tactic, “we’ll win the entire election.”
The president repeated his dare in a tweet less than an hour after he appeared on the Fox News Channel’s morning show: “Crazy Nancy Pelosi wants to Impeach me if I fulfill my Constitutional Obligation to put forth a Nominee for the vacated seat on the United States Supreme Court. This would be a FIRST, even crazier than being Impeached for making a PERFECT phone call to Ukrainian Pres.” He tagged the Senate Republicans’ official Twitter account to drive home his call for a speedy process.
In a bold claim that defies most political analysts’ assessment of the 2020 House map, he said “I think we’ll win back the House” and keep the Senate.
“We were put into this position by voters,” Mr Trump said, part of his and most Senate Republicans’ contention that voters handed them the White House in 2016 and kept the Senate in its control before expanding that upper chamber majority two years later.
Democrats are accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans of hypocrisy because in 2016 when they blocked former President Barack Obama’s final high court pick they argued a vacancy should not be filled in an election year.
With full-on political warfare breaking out, Ms Pelosi on Sunday declined to rule out a second impeachment of the president or one of Attorney General William Barr as a delaying tactic. A positive impeachment vote in the House would trigger a constitutionally required Senate trial that would essentially leave it unable to handle complicated matters like a SCOTUS nomination.
“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss,” the California Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week” program when asked about impeaching the president or Attorney General William Barr.
“But the fact is, we have a big challenge in our country,” Ms Pelosi said. "This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made. So right now, our main goal … would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the American people from the coronavirus.”
The move would be an unprecedented one for Ms Pelosi and Democrats, but in the extreme year that is 2020 and with America’s politics so divided, just about no one in Washington is ruling out anything as Republicans try to install a 6-3 conservative lean on the highest court in the land.
Ms Pelosi appears to be mulling the move because Senate Democrats have too few procedural options to delay it on their own. The speaker might have to decide her next move soon, as Mr Trump signaled Monday morning he wants a swift process that culminates with a floor vote before 3 November.
“We have a lot of time before,” he said of the election. “I think it should go before.”
Two Senate Republicans, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, say they oppose a pre-election vote. Two more defections would mean Mr McConnell and Mr Trump would lack the 50 votes to move to a simple majority floor vote with Vice President Mike Pence, president of the Senate under the Constitution, casting the decisive 51st vote.