House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested on Sunday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may have refused to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate to hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign.
McCarthy suggested during an appearance on Sunday Morning Futures that the speaker’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate may have been more strategic than Democrats have indicated, involving the Democrat primary race.
If Pelosi releases the articles this week, as she has indicated to her caucus, the Senate trial’s kickoff would coincide with the upcoming Iowa caucus, which will compromise several senators’ ability to campaign in the Hawkeye State, thereby giving a clear advantage to more “moderate” candidates like Joe Biden (D) and Pete Buttigieg (D).
Remember what happened in the last nomination process, where the DNC chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had to resign the night before the nomination convention started because they had found out they had cheated Senator Bernie Sanders from the opportunity to become the nominee.
“The Iowa caucus is on February third,” he continued. “Bernie Sanders is in first place and what this does is benefit Joe Biden.”
“This harms Sen. Sanders, who is in first place and could become their nominee because he will be stuck in a chair because Nancy Pelosi held the papers, different than what she said to the American public why she had to move so urgently,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has defended Pelosi’s decision to withhold the impeachment articles, declaring that she did so to “see the arena in which she was playing.”
“She wanted to see the arena in which she was playing when it came to a trial so she could appoint impeachment managers,” Schumer stated.
“Now it’s becoming clear that Mitch McConnell will do whatever he can to avoid a fair trial, so she has some idea of what’s happening,” he continued, reportedly adding that by withholding the articles, she prevented a “quick acquittal.”
The impeachment trial will affect several presidential hopefuls and compromise their ability to campaign in early states, but Sanders has admitted he will utilize multiple rides on a private jet to go back and forth between the trial and campaigning in Iowa — a move that stands in stark contrast with his urgent position on addressing climate change.
“They’re not going to be meeting at night [for the trial], so we can obviously fly from D.C. to states and hold events in the evening and fly back, you know, so he can be back in the morning to do his work in the Senate,” senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver told NBC News.
Sanders confirmed the plans during last week’s appearance on The Late Show.
Pelosi has long struggled with inner turmoil within her caucus, attempting to balance the demands of far-left members and moderates. Her contentious back and forth with members of the “Squad” — most of whom endorsed Sanders — is emblematic of the choice the Democrat party faces in choosing a presidential candidate to face President Trump in the upcoming general election. Moderate Democrats worry that a socialist candidate would fail to defeat Trump in a general election matchup — concerns Pelosi may also hold, given the way she handled the summer of division within her caucus.
Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina expressed similar concerns over Sanders during an interview with Politico, suggesting that Trump would love to run against the socialist.
“If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders,” Messina told Politico. “I think the contrast is the best. He can say, ‘I’m a business guy, the economy’s good and this guy’s a socialist.’”
“I think that contrast for Trump is likely one that he’d be excited about in a way that he wouldn’t be as excited about Biden or potentially Mayor Pete or some of the more Midwestern moderate candidates,” he added.