How impeachment timing may seriously hurt leading 2020 Democrats and help others

On Day 2 of the public impeachment hearings into President Trump, some leading 2020 Democrats may have cause to be "careful what they wished for" if the House ultimately votes to impeach Trump, according to a Fox Nation panel.

"The rules of impeachment are very clear. We’ll have to have a trial," announced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, conceding that the Senate must hold a trial to determine whether or not to convict the president and remove him from office if the Democrat-led House votes to impeach.

What that means for Democratic senators who are also running for president is that they may be forced off the campaign trail to return to Washington D.C. in the critical runup to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries in February 2020.

"That raises a question - who is a trial going to benefit?" asked Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger on Fox Nation's "Deep Dive" on Thursday. "Undoubtedly [Senate] Republicans are not going to convict the president and yet you're going to have at least six Senate Democratic senators who are running for their nomination, sitting in Washington all through January, enduring this trial."

"You've got the Iowa [caucuses] coming up the first week of August, followed by New Hampshire, followed by the Nevada caucuses, and then a caucus, a primary in South Carolina," he continued. "In effect, this process of impeachment is suppressing the Democratic message, other than the fact that the message for three years is that they have been chasing the president of the United States."

In fact, the conundrum for some Democrats is reportedly not lost on the candidates themselves.

The Washington Post reported that "advisers to multiple candidates have been inquiring about the potential timing behind the scenes."  In addition, Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., told the Post that a Senate trial would present a serious challenge. “We will do our best to get back to Iowa, to get to New Hampshire, to get to all the states that we have to. But there’s no question it will make our life a little bit more difficult,” he said.

"So who does [a Senate trial] benefit? Short answer, Pete Buttigieg,"  said Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kyle Peterson.  "He's going to be the only guy in Des Moines. He's going to be walking around, shaking hands, kissing babies and the other Democrats... they're gonna be stuck in Washington, not saying much."

2020 Democratic national frontrunner Joe Biden will also be free to remain on the campaign trail if the Senate holds a trial. However, recent polling has shown him falling behind his competitors in the early Democratic primary states.


"I totally agree," said Judith Miller, Fox News contributor and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. "It also benefits Mike Bloomberg and the governor of Massachusetts [Deval Patrick], who's now throwing his hat into the ring, maybe."

Miller concluded by saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi D-Calif., must have foreseen these circumstances.

"I think that was another reason that so troubled Pelosi [by the prospect of impeachment]. She understands the calendar better than anybody - along with votes. And she knew that this was exactly the prospect," Miller said. "If I were Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or any of the other Democratic senators who are going to be confined to Washington in this trial, I would be very worried indeed."

To watch all of "Deep Dive" go to Fox Nation and sign up today.


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