House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s slow walk to an “impeachment inquiry” rested on the astute calculation that, given enough time, Donald Trump would overreach. And he did. His effort to pressure Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden is certainly a misdemeanor. If it can be demonstrated from text messages and transcripts that Trump was withholding military aid to the beleaguered country until they agreed to investigate Biden, that would surely count as a high crime.
Pelosi’s measured pace brought along enough hesitant House Democrats to add weight to her announcement that the House Intelligence Committee would open an impeachment inquiry. The president, she said, had betrayed his oath of office, our national security, and the integrity of U.S. elections. He “must be held accountable—no one is above the law.” The White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry may add obstruction of justice to the list of impeachable offenses.
But will the inquiry actually end in impeachment? And would an impeachment actually lead to removal from office? If the evidence of a two-year investigation by Robert Mueller did not bring a House investigation together, what hope is there that a dodgy phone call to the president of Ukraine will rid us of our turbulent president? There he sits in the White House larger than life, crazier than ever. What assurances have we that we will be rid of him soon, or even after the next election?