Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday for schooling GOP lawmakers every step of the way throughout the impeachment process.
During a discussion with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Steele said the reason some Republican senators are starting to crack is because Pelosi’s strategy to hold onto the impeachment articles allowed public pressure to build around a fair Senate trail.
“Nancy has played this just right in my view,” the former RNC chair said. “She’s put this thing in play in such a way that she held this up long enough to move the needle inside the Republican Party. ”
Despite the breast beating by Republicans that, you know, we have the votes, we’ve got this on lockdown, and those who at least floated idea of dismissing this out of hand, they have a new reality. On the Democratic side, despite the gnashing of teeth and the nervous nellies about, ‘Oh my god, is Nancy Pelosi’s strategy going to work, what does it mean?’ Nancy has played this just right in my view. She’s put this thing in play in such a way that she held this up long enough to move the needle inside the Republican party. Because in those districts where those Republicans are facing some real challenges, and have to overcome those challenges, either through a primary or the ballot box in November, they’re now saying, ‘Hey, let’s not dismiss. Let’s have a trial. Oh, and by the way, I’m more interested in hearing from witnesses than I was maybe a few weeks ago.’ So I think the needle has moved on this. It will be very interesting to see. I think this gets harder for Republicans in the end. If the Democrats prosecute this case appropriately and well, with 71 percent of the American people already clear they want to see witnesses, Ari, I don’t know how you avoid not calling witnesses in week two or three of this trial. I just don’t see how you avoid it. If this is done right and the case is made in such a way that you need to have those witnesses to fill in and answer the questions that will clearly rise from this.
Instead of handing over the articles of impeachment last month when Donald Trump was formally impeached, Nancy Pelosi said, “Not so fast.”
She knew that Republicans – led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell – would take the articles of impeachment and rush through a sham trial without any witnesses, a proceeding meant only to clear the president as quickly impossible.
What the last few weeks has done is allow pressure to build and force Republican Senators to take tough questions about whether they plan to meet their constitutional impeachment responsibilities or be a puppet for the president.
This political pressure has moved the needle just enough to push a handful of Republican senators to express their support of an impeachment trial with witnesses, and it wouldn’t have happened if Nancy Pelosi didn’t withhold the impeachment articles from Mitch McConnell.
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.
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