Democrats hoped the public impeachment hearings would be the final straw that convinced millions of Americans to demand Donald Trump’s ouster.
Things did not go according to plan.
And Nancy Pelosi confessed the Democrats are about to suffer this massive impeachment defeat.
The first day of the Democrats’ show trial impeachment hearings was a dud.
Democrats’ two star witnesses – Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent – flopped as both came off as arrogant and power mad bureaucrats engaging in gossip and speculation rather than testifying to firsthand knowledge of events.
Taylor and Kent’s testimony collapsed when both were forced to admit they never met the President and both could not name an impeachable offense when asked directly.
That led to Democrats panicking that there strategy backfired and Nancy Pelosi admitted defeat telling her allies that the hearings were unlikely to move public opinion.
In a private meeting this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants were skeptical about the prospects of a dramatic shift in opinion even as public impeachment hearings began this week, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The upshot, the sources said: Democrats need to move forward with impeachment proceedings even if the politics are murky, noting that even during Richard Nixon’s presidency most of the public was divided until soon before he was forced to resign.
“Well, I think there are hard views on both sides,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN when asked if he thought the public’s views would shift dramatically. “And sadly, apparently, Trump was perhaps right when he said of his own supporters that he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and they would not require any accountability.”
Democrats have made a concerted effort to shift their rhetoric to clearly convey to the public a more concise message: That Trump engaged in “bribery,” which is cited in the Constitution on impeachment, when he pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate his political rivals in exchange for $400 million in military aid the country desperately sought — a message Pelosi conveyed on Thursday, a day after the first public impeachment proceedings.
Yet Democrats say there’s still a challenge in convincing a large majority of the public that what Trump did amounts to an abuse of power.
Some Democrats – like former Congressman Harold Ford – believe if these hearings continue to sputter along that Pelosi will eventually pull the plug.
That would enrage members of the Fake News Media that are desperate to see Donald Trump impeached and removed from office.
But faced with a choice of either pleasing them or avoiding a disastrous defeat for her caucus Pelosi’s decision will not be hard at all.
We will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.