Richard Painter, a former top ethics official in the George W. Bush administration, called for an immediate impeachment vote in the House of Representatives on Monday.
In a discussion with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Painter acknowledged the likelihood that the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit Trump, but he said that’s beside the point.
“That impeachment acquittal by Mitch McConnell and his cronies in the Senate will be no better than an acquittal in 1965 of a klansman by an all-white jury in Mississippi,” the former ethics lawyer said. “That is no justification for refusing to impeach.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 23, 2019
When the impeachment occurs, it will go to the Senate, and yes, the Senate may decide to acquit Donald Trump. That will not strengthen Donald Trump. That impeachment acquittal by Mitch McConnell and his cronies in the Senate will be no better than an acquittal in 1965 of a klansman by an all-white jury in Mississippi. Everybody knows what’s going to happen in the Senate. That is no justification for refusing to impeach. It is time for Speaker Pelosi to demand impeachment articles be voted out of the House and start the trial in the Senate now. We’re tired of it.
Democrats appear closer to impeachment than ever
To further bolster the argument that Democrats are closer than ever to moving forward on impeachment, NBC News reported on Monday that “all signs point to a possible public inflection point later this week” when acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before the House.
“The dam could break on Thursday,” one senior Democratic aide said, according to NBC News.
Of course, Democrats have been reluctant to dive head-first into impeachment proceedings for two valid reasons:
1. They know Republicans will acquit him in the Senate, even if the vote does clear the House. They worry that an acquittal will only benefit Trump.
2. They fear that they will face a political backlash in 2020 by overreaching on impeachment, particularly as most polls show it isn’t consistently supported by a majority of voters.
However, with Donald Trump’s Ukraine extortion scheme coming to light over the past week and the president’s self-enrichment scandals mounting, the politics of impeachment might not matter anymore.
What a growing number of Democratic lawmakers are starting to ask is: If the Constitutional remedy of impeachment isn’t exercised now, why do we even have it?
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.