When the Home handed the 2 articles of impeachment towards Trump — one for abuse of energy, the opposite for obstruction of Congress — in mid-December, Pelosi pointedly refused to transmit the articles to the Senate. In explaining that transfer, she said this at the time: “The following factor for us will likely be once we see the method that’s set forth within the Senate, then we’ll know the variety of managers that we might need to go ahead and who we are going to select.”

Pelosi’s purpose was easy: To attempt to pressure Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell’s hand. Pelosi wished to make use of her possession of the articles of impeachment to yield guarantees and/or compromises from McConnell — most notably on the difficulty of witnesses being allowed to be known as within the Senate trial.

Besides that McConnell wasn’t taking part in ball.

“There will likely be no haggling with the Home over Senate process,” McConnell said earlier this month. “We is not going to cede our authority to do that impeachment. The Home Democrats’ flip is over. The Senate has made its determination.” And McConnell backed up that no-negotiation place with a present of pressure: Saying that he had secured the support of a majority of the Senate to start the impeachment trial with none determination on witnesses.

Which left Pelosi frolicked to dry. The leverage she imagined she possessed to get McConnell to accede to her needs did not exist. McConnell was completely comfortable ready whereas Pelosi held on to the articles of impeachment, in all probability believing rightly that these kinds of delaying ways would appear like simply extra Washington humorous enterprise to the typical individual. And he knew that at any time when she determined to ship the articles over, he had a majority ready to open the trial with none guarantees made on witnesses.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos over the weekend, Pelosi sought to spin her strategy to victory within the face of her concession. Stated Pelosi:

“I’ve all the time stated I might ship them over. So there should not be any thriller to that. What we did need, although, and we predict we completed previously few weeks, is that we wished the general public to see the necessity for witnesses, witnesses with firsthand information of what occurred, documentation which the President has prevented from coming to the Congress as we overview this.”

And, at the least for the time being, there does seems to be some momentum for permitting witnesses to be known as, with four Republican senators expressing their interest in that idea. But it surely appears like a stretch to credit score how these Republican senators are viewing impeachment with Pelosi’s determination to carry up the articles for the previous month. A main stretch.

What Pelosi appeared to, uh, underestimate is the extent to which the Senate, by its very nature, resists being informed what to do in any approach, form or kind. Whereas it’s straightforward to put all of that on McConnell, the reality of the matter is that the Senate has by no means appreciated being informed what to do by the Home. And the Home has by no means appreciated being informed what to do by the Senate. Every physique views itself as an impartial fiefdom, ruled by its personal guidelines and codes of conduct. The thought of 1 chamber telling the opposite what to do is solely anathema — regardless of which celebration is in control of every.

That, plus McConnell’s outstanding skill to maintain his 53 Republican senators in line, led to Pelosi being left holding not a lot of a hand. The transfer she introduced Tuesday is the equal of throwing her hand in, understanding that what she was holding was, in a phrase, dreck.

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