Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley laid out a sweeping indictment of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arguing that her impeachment strategy backfired and gave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the upper hand.
“The delay now seems largely driven by a desire to preserve the image of Pelosi as a master strategist despite a blunder of the first order,” Turley wrote in a column titled, “Pelosi’s Blunder: How the House Destroyed its Own Case for Impeachment.”
His comments came as Pelosi prepared to transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate, roughly a month after the House approved them. She initially withheld them in an apparent attempt to draw concessions from McConnell. On Wednesday she announced the seven lawmakers who will serve as impeachment managers to prosecute the case against the president at his Senate trial.
“There was no reason why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would make concessions to get an impeachment that he loathed,” Turley wrote. Turley similarly suggested that Pelosi pushed impeachment out of “vanity” and would pay a “high price” for doing so. “The fact is that Pelosi played into the hands of McConnell by first rushing this impeachment forward with an incomplete record and now giving him the excuse to summarily change the rules, or even to dismiss the articles,” he said.
“Waiting for the House to submit a list of managers was always a courtesy extended by Senate rules and not a requirement of the Constitution. By inappropriately withholding the articles of impeachment and breaking with tradition, Pelosi simply gave McConnell ample reason to exercise the “nuclear option” and change the rules on both majority voting as well as the rule for the start of trials. That is a high price to pay for vanity.”