Is Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to hold a vote on House floor to authorize an official impeachment inquiry to help vulnerable House members evade accountability? Not entirely, explains Kimberley Strassel in the WSJ.
The Impeacher Lord High
… there’s a more practical and uglier reason for Democrats to skip the formalities. Normally an authorization vote would be followed by official rules on how the inquiry would proceed. Under today’s process, Mr. Schiff gets to make up the rules as he goes along. Behold the Lord High Impeacher.
Democrats view control over the narrative as essential, having learned from their Russia-collusion escapade the perils of transparency. They banked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proving impeachment fodder, but got truth-bombed. Their subsequent open hearings on the subject—featuring Michael Cohen, Mr. Mueller and Corey Lewandowski —were, for the Democrats, embarrassing spectacles, at which Republicans punched gaping holes in their story line.
Mr. Schiff is making sure that doesn’t happen again; he’ll present the story, on his terms. His rules mean he can issue that controlling decree about “only one” transcript and Democratic staff supervision of Republican members. It means he can bar the public, the press and even fellow representatives from hearings, even though they’re unclassified.
Read more here.