Seemingly overlooked by most, when the House voted on the ‘rules of impeachment’ they removed the traditional appointment of House Managers to a later date.
Normally the House Managers would be appointed at the same time as the impeachment vote; however, by withholding the appointment House Democrats are indicating they will not immediately send articles of impeachment to the senate but will rather hold the articles as support for pending court cases toward their judicial authority.
A cunning Lawfare ploy.
As interested observers will note the House never voted to authorize the full judicial impeachment process; instead they voted to approve an inquiry into whether an impeachment should take place. By not voting to authorize articles of impeachment the House never gained ‘judicial enforcement authority‘. The absence of judicial authority is now working its way through the courts in various cases.
It appears the absence of appointing House impeachment managers; and the decision to withhold sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate; is now a specific design.
As the process appears to be unfolding, the Lawfare contracted lawyers representing the House: chief legal counsel Douglas Letter, Barry Berke, Norm Eisen and Daniel Goldman will now argue before the courts that all of the constitutionally contended material is required as evidence for a pending judicial proceeding, a trial in the Senate.
What the house crew have assembled is an interesting back-door attempt to position a valid claim for evidence against the accused without having first gained judicial authority for it. The Lawfare crew will argue to the lower courts, and to SCOTUS, the blocked evidentiary material is critical evidence in a soon-to-be-held Senate trial.
The material they have been seeking is: (1) Mueller grand jury material; (2) a deposition by former White House counsel Don McGahn; and less importantly (3) Trump financial and tax records. Each of these issues is currently being argued in appellate courts (6e and McGahn) and the supreme court (financials/taxes).
The House impeachment of President Trump succeeds in applying the label “impeached president” that was their primary political purpose. President Trump is marred with the label of an ‘impeached president’.
Now the delay in sending the articles of impeachment allows the House lawyers to gather additional evidence while the impeachment case sits in limbo.
The House essentially blocks any/all impeachment activity in the Senate by denying the transfer of the articles from the House to the Senate. Additionally, the House will now impede any other Senate legislative action because the House will hold the Senate captive. Meanwhile the Democrat presidential candidates can run against an impeached President.
Lawfare’s legal svengali Lawrence Tribe recently penned an op-ed with this type of recommendation; and it appears the community that worships Tribe, including the House lawyers writ large, are following his advice.
While Politico outlines the plan from a position if the scheme as a new idea, the fact the House impeachment rules were changed to drop the appointment of the managers speaks to considerable forethought on this type of plan.
It does not appear this is a new idea; rather it looks like this is a pre-planned procedural process by design:
Washington – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking lawmaker in the House, said Wednesday that Democrats must discuss a last-ditch gambit to delay sending articles of impeachment to the Senate and prevent the Republican-controlled chamber from summarily discarding the case against President Donald Trump.
“Some think it’s a good idea. And we need to talk about it,” Hoyer said just as the House began debating articles of impeachment that charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
In recent weeks, some legal scholars have suggested Speaker Nancy Pelosi could consider refusing to transmit articles of impeachment — likely to pass the House Wednesday evening — to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declared he is coordinating trial strategy with the White House.
[…] Notably, House Judiciary Committee Democrats huddled with Tribe earlier this month as they practiced behind closed doors for their series of impeachment hearings.
[…] the House could use the delay to continue to build on its evidence for impeachment, and possibly to score additional legal victories that could unlock troves of new evidence and witness testimony that the Trump administration has withheld from Congress. Some of those court cases could be decided within weeks. (read more)
No vote on naming impeachment managers tonight, which means articles won’t be transmitted to the Senate tonight. House has adjourned
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 19, 2019