We previously discussed the declaration of Rep. Al Green that the House might approve successive impeachments against President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., laid out an additional plan, impeach Trump if he wins reelection in 2020 and the Democrats take the Senate. The comments suggest a certain impeachment addiction that may be growing in the Democratic ranks. Saying that you may want a do-over before it is over reflects a growing political dependence on impeachment as a form of political speech.
The comment came after TMZ founder Harvey Levin noted to Bass that
“There’s no such thing, really, as double jeopardy in an impeachment trial because it’s political. Suppose he gets reelected… and you win back the Senate in a big way. If you did that, would you be inclined to take a second bite at the apple and reintroduce the exact same impeachment articles and then send it through again a second if you have a Democratic Senate on your side?”
“So, you know, yes, but I don’t think it would be exactly the same and here’s why because even though we are impeaching him now, there’s still a number of court cases, there’s a ton of information that could come forward. For example, we could get his bank records and find out that he’s owned 100 percent by the Russians. You are absolutely right in your scenario, but the only thing I would say slightly different is, it might not be the same articles of impeachment because the odds are we would have a ton more information, and then the odds of that, sadly enough, is that, you know, he probably has other examples of criminal behavior.”
In fairness to Rep. Bass, there is no reason why a second impeachment could not be based on newly discovered grounds. However, my problem, again, is the insistence on impeaching by Christmas. The financial records case is moving through the courts and one has already been subject to a Supreme Court stay pending consideration of the merits. Daisy-chaining impeachments is not the optimal approach for this country when a slightly more circumspect and deliberate process could yield this evidence.