Think about this. Adam Schiff and his staff spent what is supposed to be a fun weekend filled with food, family and fun drafting a report to send to the House Judiciary Committee. The report purpose, of course, is to form the basis for Articles of Impeachment. The Intelligence Committee headed by Schiff will vote on this report in closed session this evening.
However, given Chairman of the House Judiciary Jerry Nadler has already scheduled witnesses begining tomorrrow, all the suspense is gone. The circus will move to Nadler's ring where we can be assured Ranking Member Representative Doug Collins will continue to make him look like the clown he is.
Adam Schiff's compelling tome has not yet been released, but Republicans have already released a rebuttal of the document they were given 24 hours to review. In the four page executive summary signed by the Ranking Members of the Intelligence, Ovesight and Foreign Affairs Committees, they lay out the complete lack of evidence of an impeachable offense collected by the Democrats thus far.
After pointing out that Democrats have been trying to impeach the President endlessly, introducing Articles of Impeachment four times since taking over the House in January of 2019. They assert:
The Democrats' impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system.
They go on to point out that the sum total of the current evidence is that some members of the bureaucracy disagreed with the President on Ukraine policy. The Ranking Members contend there was no support found for the President pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations in exchange for military aid or a White House visit. Democrats have alternately called these items quid pro quo, extortion and bribery depending on their internal polling. They contend the actions taken by the President were to benefit his own campaign in 2020.
Despite a well founded rebuttal, it is almost certain that the report issued by Schiff will be moved to the second ring of the three-ring circus. From there the Articles that are drafted in Nadler's committee are almost certain to go to the House floor. Though watching Collins rip Nadler is always a good show.
Once the process moves to the third ring of the circus, uncertainty increases. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a political animal. She must be watching the polls carefully. Keeping the House majority is a priority for the party and a vote to impeach puts a significant number of so-called "moderates" in jeopardy for reelection. At this point voters aren't buying the narrative and see the entire process as blatantly political. And apparently the Democrats are frustrated.
It doesn't help when several leading Democrats have said the quiet part out loud. They are worried about a Trump win in the 2020 election. It is also highly suspect when there is no clear frontrunner for their nomination. Instead, the primary has shown some deep fractures in the Democrat coalition. And the current ascendant candidate is the mediocre Mayor of a small midwest town who has no support in key minority coalitions. It is so bad, billionaire Mike Bloomberg thinks he is going to ride to the rescue.
Watching the Democrats extricate themselves from this mess could be quite entertaining. There are already calls to abandon impeachment and move to censure. That just brings up the same question Republicans have raised in the "pre-buttal" to Schiff's report. For what?