When it comes to the seemingly inevitable impeachment of President Donald Trump, both sides of the aisle can likely agree on one thing: Timing is everything.
For the Trump White House, and maybe even more so for his 2020 reelection campaign, the “swift” trial promised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will wrap up this entire “hoax” in a big bow hopefully just in time for the President to gloat about it on the campaign trail. That means, if there is still a guarantee of an acquittal in Congress, this whole thing could go on and on, well into 2020.
This also gives the President and his team plenty of time to work around the accusations being lobbed in their general direction – a tactic that has so far worked like a charm.
For the Democrats, however, they are running a real risk of appearing to cause stagnation in the nation’s capital as Americans clamor for healthcare reform, immigration enforcement, and other domestic issues in need of attention. For the left, speed is of the essence.
They’ve now admitted as much.
House Democrats are signaling they are now on a fast-track in their impeachment proceedings, avoiding court battles that could delay their inquiry and limiting the number of witnesses at public hearings — all signs that President Donald Trump could be impeached as soon as next month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not shared her thinking on the final timeline with her colleagues, and Democratic sources say the timing is still fluid and could continue to evolve.
But in a series of moves this week, Democrats have shown they are rapidly moving to complete the proceedings by Christmas, something that could result in Trump being just the third president to be impeached in history.
The schedule became apparent in recent days after House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, announced that public hearings would begin next week and also suggested Thursday there’s a limit to the witnesses they would call for the public hearings.
Here’s where the schedule stands now:
Schiff has announced that three witnesses would testify next week, and Democratic lawmakers expect at least one more week of public hearings before his panel likely to follow on the week of November 18.
The House is then scheduled to take a recess for Thanksgiving week, giving time for Schiff’s committee — along with House Oversight and House Foreign Affairs — to finish a report detailing their findings and recommendations of their investigation.
At that point, the House Judiciary Committee would take the lead on the impeachment push — potentially in the first week of December. Democratic sources expect that committee to have a public hearing, possibly in that week, before it votes on articles of impeachment. That vote could occur in committee in the first or second week of December, the sources said.
If that timeline is followed, that would set up a full House vote to impeach Trump on the week of December 16 — a historic vote that could come 21 years after President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House on December 19, 1998.
For now, the American people will wait patiently, hoping that some semblance of normalcy can return to The Beltway before too long.