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Impeachment Update, December 23: Call to Voice Your Support for Nancy Pelosi’s Plan


Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to express support for the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, and encourage all your friends across the country to do the same. 


Also, your 2019 To-Do List:


And if you need to do something NowRightNow to fight against [Fresh Horror]:


The House of Representatives held the full floor vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump on December 18, 2019.


It was as expected, mostly. The two Democratic House reps who made noises about voting no did so. All Republicans voted against both. Trump burbled and fulminated and styled himself as the victim, and the GOP crowd dutifully repeated his claims.


The few bits of weirdness: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who is running for president, showed herself utterly unserious about anything by voting “present” on both articles. Jared Golden, Democrat of Maine, voted yes on the first article (abuse of power) and no on the second (obstruction of Congress). He told his local paper he felt it was the right thing to do, but didn’t explain how he decided the first article was solid but the second wasn’t quite, by his reckoning.


Anyway. Trump is only the third president impeached since America and its Congress became a thing. He is the only president impeached in his first term. He’ll be the first president to run for a second term after having been impeached (at least it looks that way in December 2019). And while, technically, Trump’s impeachment drew the most raw votes, see this Snopes explainer that offers historical context.


Most of us watched the proceedings with grim resolve, convinced that the Senate will vote to acquit, regardless of the strength of the evidence. To complete the second and final step of the process–removal–67 Senators would have to vote to remove. That would require 20 GOP Senators to join all the Democrats and the two Independents (Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont) to vote yet.


Barring the arrival of a smoking 21-gun salute to join the smoking guns already uncovered, virtually no one believes the GOP Senators will break ranks and do the right thing.


Worse, two sitting Senators have already said, in public and on the record, before the House voted on impeachment, that they will violate their oaths as jurors in the Senate trial of Trump. Both Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have said they have no intention of being impartial.


Fortunately, Nancy Pelosi had a plan. She announced soon after the vote that the House would consider holding off sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until the two chambers hammer out acceptable rules under which to hold the trial.


From the Washington Post article linked in the above paragraph: “[Oregon House Rep Earl] Blumenauer said that if McConnell does not agree to call the Democratic witnesses and stage a fair trial, Democrats could simply hold on to the articles indefinitely and continue to investigate Trump. The House is involved in multiple court cases seeking documents and testimony that have yet to be resolved.”


McConnell claimed that the delay doesn’t bother him, telling NBC News, “I admit, I’m not sure what leverage there is from refraining from sending us something we do not want.”


But the longer the trial is delayed, the antsier Trump gets. The delay also gives more time for others to muster the courage to step forward and voice support for removing Trump from office. Between the Wednesday vote and December 22, two headline-making articles went public.


Christianity Today, a publication founded by the late Billy Graham for the evangelical Christian community, released an editorial with the blunt title, Trump Should Be Removed from Office. And Jeff Flake wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, urging his former Senate GOP colleagues to straighten up and fly right with regard to the coming Senate trial, and put country over party.


Among other things, Flake wrote, “My simple test for all of us: What if President Barack Obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior? I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do.”


You can argue over whether and how these two articles have had an impact on GOP Senators and Trump’s base. It’s harder to argue that articles like these won’t have an effect if they keep coming from people and entities with similar stature. The longer Pelosi waits, the more time that others have to follow the lead of Christianity Today and Flake.


Pelosi further proved her political genius by issuing a relatively early invitation to Trump to give the State of the Union address on February 4, 2020. Trump accepted, but make sure to read her letter, considering the phrasing she uses (straightforward on first pass, very “bless your heart” on subsequent passes) and the timing of the date that she chose, given the ongoing wrangling over the Senate impeachment trial, and what stage the trial might have reached by February 4. The Daily Beast reproduced the December 20, 2019 letter on its letterhead


All caught up now? Good. While we wait for the House and the Senate to hammer things out, we at OTYCD are asking you to make a few more pro-Impeachment calls to your members of Congress.


If your House Rep did the right thing, THANK him or her. (See the full list of how everyone voted on both articles.) Hearing from pro-impeachment constituents shows them you care about this issue and helps them stay on their path.


If your House Rep did the wrong thing (again, here’s the full list of how everyone voted on both of them), respectfully voice your disagreement with his or her vote. Hearing from pro-impeachment constituents matters, because their staff keeps tabs on how many calls they receive on specific issues.


Regardless of how your House Rep voted, tell him or her that you support Nancy Pelosi holding back the articles of impeachment from the Senate until the leadership in both chambers can negotiate rules that provide for a fair trial. Point out that both McConnell and Graham have said they will not uphold their oaths as jurors, and cite that as one of many reasons to put the time needed to ensure the coming trial is not a sham.


Then call your Senators, cite how your House Rep voted, and ask them to do their level best to honor their oaths as jurors in the upcoming impeachment trial, which will take place in the new year. Do this regardless of how they lean, for the same reasons given above. It’s important that they hear from you.


And! You need to continue to urge your friends and family to call their Congressfolk and say they support the impeachment process.


Tell your friends and family that their efforts matter, and tell them they do need to call and speak to a live person or leave a voicemail, or alternately, send an email. If they don’t know who their Congressfolk are or how to reach them, use this tool to look them up:


Before you place your own daily call, check the Twitter feed of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), so you can tailor your comment about the impeachment inquiry to the day’s events. 


She is quick on the draw with calling scripts–way faster than I could ever hope to be–and will have a template you can use or adapt when making your calls to MoCs.


Even if she doesn’t have a specific template, she will retweet and comment on events that you can cite in your new daily call.


If she goes silent (she has deadlines to meet before the year ends and might not be on Twitter every day), look to the resources cited in our post on what you can do NowRightNow to fight [Fresh Horror] for fresh news you can cite. The link is above but here it is again:


If you’ve ignored all the OTYCD posts urging you to call on impeachment to date, now is the time to get involved. Trumpistas will, are, and will continue to ring the offices of their members of Congress to scream and bleat and threaten as impeachment comes to a head in the House; it’s extra-important for you to step up and voice your support, for that very reason.


Important backstory: Impeachment starts in the House of Representatives before moving to the Senate. An impeachment inquiry is pretty much like the grand jury stage of legal proceedings—witnesses are called, and a fair amount is done in secret.


When you hear the phrase “impeachment and removal,” that refers to the House acting to impeach and the Senate voting to remove Trump from the office of the president. While the U.S. Congress has impeached presidents, none have been removed—they’ve either quit before the Senate trial and vote, or the Senate voted to acquit.


Now that the full floor vote has taken place in the House of Representatives, its role in impeachment is largely finished.


You should call your Senators even though the Senate trial isn’t happening yet. These calls should start with “I realize the trial has not started yet” or some other statement that recognizes it’s not yet underway in the Senate.


Rephrase your statement for your House rep in terms that ask your Senators to publicly support the recent actions of House Dems, or to make note of the recent actions and ready themselves to be jurors.


Another point I like to hit when talking to my Senators, who are both Dems, is to talk to their GOP colleagues. I’ve asked them to stress the fact that we’ve had almost three years to watch Trump’s performance in the job, and the only thing he’s learning is how to stifle oversight and abuse the powers of the presidency more effectively. I also ask them to voice the fact that things are only going to get worse, not better, until Trump is impeached and removed.


Point friends and family to Celeste’s feed as well, or copy and paste Pewter’s latest script and send it to them, if that works best.


Making phone calls is still the best way to reach your MoCs. If it’s after hours or a weekend, leave a voicemail. If you can’t call your reps, email them.


Help friends find their MoCs and the relevant contact information for each of the three.


Give them all the help and support they need to make the calls. Don’t nag. Just encourage, and celebrate every action they take.


After you make your daily MoC calls, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.


You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter


You can donate money to her through her Ko-fi:


You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.


And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:


Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!