An open letter to Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff
The charade now playing out in the US Senate over the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, accompanied by the horror show of virus-spreading Trump rallies and demented rants, seems to have sidelined the House from the main political front. But recalling your stellar performance in the impeachment process so long ago in January, I’d like to point out that the House and your leadership can actually step in to derail the Republicans’ shameless and pernicious exercise.
At the the time you were very sparing with articles of impeachment against Trump, pressing only charges related to “Ukrainegate” (which, let me stress, should definitely have been adequate to remove him). But he has committed a slew of other high crimes and misdemeanors, including multiple instances of prima facie bribery — one of the two offenses explicitly listed by the Constitution as impeachable. These were most recently and vividly detailed in the latest New York Times investigation. So there would be no arguable complaint of double jeopardy if Trump were to be impeached on any of them. And the Constitution does not rule out multiple impeachments of the same officeholders. Indeed, Trump — who loves setting real or imaginary records — might be proud to make history by becoming the first president to be impeached twice, instead of just the third president to be impeached at all.
So the Judiciary Committee can rush through and send to the House floor one or more articles of impeachment based on the Times’ documentation. Sure, that would be playing fast and loose with conventions and precedents of serious hearings. But the Republicans can hardly lecture you about this while they are so egregiously violating the standard they set only four years ago by refusing to consider a SCOTUS nomination in an election year — never mind while the voting is already in progress, as it is today. I’m sure that Speaker Nancy Pelosi can iron out any procedural obstacles to voting out the article or articles of impeachment before Barrett’s confirmation comes to a final vote in the Senate.
And then, the Senate would be required to set aside all other business and debate the impeachment. That would delay the Barrett confirmation at least till after the election — which, according to all polls, is what an overwhelming majority of US voters want. So even if it might cast Trump as persecuted, just about everyone who was about to vote against him anyway would be delighted. And the exposure of damning evidence in live broadcasts of the hearings even on Fox News just might swing a handful of lukewarm Trumpistas against him. There would thus be little price to pay for scuttling Barrett’s nomination (since she has not heeded my call to withdraw for her own sake).
Watching from the Israeli sidelines, I would welcome anything that might mitigate the destruction of the American Republic at Trump’s hands. Even if he loses the election and accepts the results without provoking civil violence, a retrograde Court would affect US society and polity for decades to come. Not to mention what lies in store if Trump again manages to carry the Electoral College while almost certainly losing the popular vote. As I warned Israelis four years ago this month, ask not what a US presidential candidate might do for us; ask what he will inflict on America. Because if the United States goes all the way down the chute, Israel is pretty likely to follow — as a lot of symptoms already indicate.
So, Messrs. Nadler and Schiff, please do not flinch at accusations of playing dirty politics that are sure to emanate from the newly re-proven masters of this art. As Trump himself would say, what do you have to lose?
Gideon Remez, Jerusalem