This blog is not to recount the details of the hearings that I am hopeful you heard or saw some part of, but to share my view on the politics and the process of it for both parties and incumbents on both sides.
I am happy that the Democrats are accepting their constitutional responsibility to follow the process and see where it leads, rather than playing safe politics and holding off for another election where the same tactics of foreign interference can easily be used again. For now, the House Democrats appear to be moving towards a vote before Christmas passing Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. In the Senate, where the official trial would take place, the Republicans, for now, have the votes to acquit. This does not mean the whole procedure was a wasted effort. The public has benefited from the hearings and should be much more informed if the final decision is up to them come November 2020.
I am very proud of the House Leadership and how they have handled the Impeachment process in a very responsible way. House Speaker Pelosi has clearly risen to the occasion, balancing political concerns with constitutional responsibilities. Representative Adam Schiff from California has been superb, with a focus on laying out the facts not just for Congress but for the American people. They rightly chose to accept their constitutional responsibility rather than ducking and playing it safe politically.
I would hope that anyone following the hearings understands that what the President did (solicit help from a foreign country to dig up dirt on a political opponent) is wrong. In my opinion, there are several Republicans that would join the Democrats in convicting the President if it weren't for the politics of needing the President’s base to get re-elected.
But for all this effort with so many folks in big trouble, some in jail, some headed there, and for some just becoming damaged goods, the real political backfire might be that Trump picked the wrong horse to try to damage. With his support numbers staying steady so far, right now, I would put Joe Biden at the front of Presidential candidates, although with little more than a 50-50 chance of becoming the nominee. The big unknown at this point is the entrance of Michael Bloomberg into the race and what impact that would bring.
But the side benefit for all this has to be seeing the professionalism and courage that the career civil service leaders in the state department, foreign service, CIA, and the ambassadors showed in standing up to the administration's pressure to not testify. Several who did testify are naturalized citizens, who came here as immigrants and have given their lives to the service of this country. Why would they do this? More than anything else, I believe it is their support for our Constitution and our historic respect for the rule of law. What message will we send to the world about where we stand on those issues today?