Democrats' impeachment desperation

What exactly was the point of Wednesday's House Judiciary hearing?

Jerrold Nadler.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Now that the House Judiciary Committee's first public hearing into the possible impeachment of Donald Trump has concluded and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has announced Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment, two questions come to mind. What exactly was the purpose of Wednesday's hearing? And who did House Democrats hope to convince by having liberal law professors echo the same arguments made by the leaders of the impeachment project?

The fact that this was Judiciary's only public involvement in this effort so far is strange on its own. Under normal circumstances and historical precedent, impeachment proceedings would have originated with Judiciary. However, this House majority made a decision to invest the investigatory authority of the Ukraine affair with the Intelligence Committee and Adam Schiff, a decision made more for the politics and optics than for jurisdictional purposes. This unusual choice only amplified the partisan bickering that began during the Russia-collusion scandal and sapped the credibility out of the preceding hearings.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.