The impeachment roller coaster ride might not be over yet. No sooner had the House impeached President Trump than the media reported that Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) had “declared war” on Mike Pence. During an appearance on the Rachel Maddow show, Schiff was specifically asked if he was “actively looking” into Vice President Pence. In response, he gave an answer that was classic Schiff:
“Well, we have acquired a piece of evidence, classified submission by Jennifer Williams, something that she alluded to in her open testimony that in going back and looking through her records, she found other information that was pertinent to that phone call that we asked her about and made that submission. There is nothing that should be classified in that submission but yet, the vice president’s office has said they’re going to assert classification, or it’s classified.
It is not proper to classify something because it would be embarrassing or incriminating, and that summation does shed light on the vice president’s knowledge, and we think the American people should see it. Certainly, any senators in the trial should have access to it.”
Clearly, the Democrats’ efforts to remove Trump have, so far, failed. According to a survey from Reuters, less than half of all Americans support removing Trump from office. It seems likely that support for removing Pence would be even lower.
What Schiff is particularly obsessed about is a phone call between Vice President Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on September 18. Pence’s adviser, Jennifer Williams, listened in on that call. She testified about it behind closed doors to Schiff’s committee and her testimony was later classified. Schiff has been badgering Pence to have it declassified.
On Tuesday, Schiff sent a letter to Pence alleging that the testimony given by Williams “raises profound questions about your knowledge of the President’s scheme to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.” In other words, Schiff is suggesting that Vice President Pence abused his power – just as Trump supposedly did.
Why engage in such divisive behavior? If he truly feels he is seeking justice, that could explain why he won’t let this go. But the truth is that his obsession with taking down the Trump administration goes back long before this Ukraine scandal first broke wide open.
Like so many other Democrats, he hates Trump and he won’t rest until the president is gone for good. If the Democrats could find a way to get Trump removed from office early next year, that would throw the Republican Party into a state of chaos and would give Democrats a massive edge heading into November 2020. And if they managed to get Pence out of office too, it would create even more chaos.
In the end, maybe that is their goal. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is second in line behind the vice president to take the Oval Office should the president vacate it, and it could well be that they hope to remove both Trump and Pence to make room for Pelosi. But she wouldn’t serve long before facing an election.
Yes, getting Nancy Pelosi into the White House would be a nice side benefit, but perhaps what the Democrats really want to do is to stop Trump from winning again in 2020 by any means necessary. Unfortunately for the Democrats, nothing they do seems to be working.
It looks like Trump is going to be acquitted by the Senate. Public approval for impeachment has been falling, and the president now has a lead against all potential Democratic contenders. If the Democrats had never attempted to remove Trump, they would have had a much better chance of winning the White House next November.
Read more from Lorraine Silvetz, MSW.