Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want to impeach President Trump. She recognizes that this would be a huge mistake and likely lead to Trump’s re-election. It’s why Jonah Goldberg refers to AOC’s Suicide Squad as “The Committee to Re-Elect the President” for their unwavering call for a truly idiotic political move.
But impeachment fires up the Democratic base, and Pelosi knows that too, so she will never truly remove that pot from the heat. She’d rather pocket impeach him at the ballot box, and she has a plan to do that.
“We want to have the strongest possible case to make a decision as to what path we will go down, and that just is not endless in terms of time, or endless in terms of the information that we want,” the speaker said. “But if it comes to a point where the cone of silence and the obstruction of justice and the cover-up in the White House prevents us from getting that information, that will not prevent us from going forward. In fact, it’s even more grounds to go forward.” [bold mine]After Mueller testimony, Pelosi, Democratic chairs crack door on impeachment, Roll Call, July 24, 2019
Pelosi used the word “endless” twice, with “not” before it, but the tell is obvious. Of course she means the Democrats will endlessly dig into Trump’s tax returns, personal finances, business connections, and his rich history right up until Election Day.
The House Ways and Means Committee still doesn’t have its hands on Trump’s tax returns, and the president has filed a lawsuit against the committee and New York’s attorney general to block the disclosure. Trump is an expert at riding and delaying legal action against him, and the timing of his suit (Tuesday) delays action on the lawsuit filed by the committee against the IRS and the Treasury Department to gain access to the returns.
This legal jujitsu will continue for months, and no doubt Pelosi is just fine with that, as long as the tax returns are delivered sometime before the end of October, 2020. She wants her October surprise.
It is in this context that Pelosi didn’t care that Mueller’s performance before Congress was lackluster at best. Her job was to keep the impeachment pot hot but not boiling, and Mueller fulfilled that requirement very well.