Nancy Pelosi has gone and done it

We all knew it was coming – but it’s nonetheless a ground-shifting development. After weeks of impeachment inquiry hearings, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced today that articles of impeachment will in fact be brought against Donald Trump. Today’s announcement serves as a reminder that the impeachment process has several stages, and we’re heading into one of the biggest.

It was one thing to open an impeachment inquiry. It allowed, at least in theory, for the possibility that the impeachment inquiry hearings could result in insufficient evidence to support impeachment, and that the whole thing could end up being dropped. Of course we all knew that the evidence against Trump was far more than sufficient to bring articles of impeachment, so today was inevitable. But it still changes the game.

This means we’re going to see full House hearings on impeachment. We’ll see House committees testifying to other House committees. We’ll see the full boat now. The hearings last for however long Nancy Pelosi thinks they should last, whether that be a few weeks or several months. And yes, there will be a Senate impeachment trial after that – but don’t expect Pelosi to hand impeachment over to the Republican Senate until she’s exhausted every avenue for exposing Trump’s guilt and for convincing the American people that he and his apologists must be removed, thus forcing GOP Senators to think about whether their own individual political careers will be better off by convicting or acquitting him.

Nancy Pelosi knows what she’s doing. She demonstrated that, by waiting to announce the impeachment inquiry until the kind of evidence began emerging that would allow for the general public to get behind impeachment. Now she’s decided that today is the day to formally move into the articles of impeachment stage. For Donald Trump, today is a day of ignominy and worry. Going forward from here, every day of his presidency will be worse for him than the last. We’ll see if Pelosi can actually oust him, or if voters will have to do that in the election. But she sure is dismantling Trump in the process.