Watch as MSNBC political analyst and former Republican congressman David Jolly claims that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi “outplayed” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
What do you think?
Did Nancy Pelosi outplay Mitch McConnell on the politics of impeachment, or was it Pelosi who got outplayed?
Here’s a transcript of the exchange, which is very revealing:
“RUHLE: Have things shifted in the last month?
JOLLY: The way they shifted, and credit is due to speaker Pelosi, real credit due to speaker Pelosi, she took heat for withholding articles.
We would not be having a conversation about the fairness of the trial if Pelosi hadn’t created a month where that was the topic.
You’ve seen senators have to shift, senators like Romney have to say yes, I want to hear from Bolton. And what happened is McConnell lost that iron grip of his caucus around this.
RUHLE: But did he? We’re having a conversation about fairness of the trial, but at the end of the day if the guy who sets the rules is Mitch McConnell, isn’t he laughing his way all the way to the bank saying I don’t feel anything?
JOLLY: It is the rule of 51. He has to have 51 votes to say no witnesses.
RUHLE: He doesn’t have the numbers?
JOLLY: What we’re seeing right now is he may not, when Romney and others peel off.
It is a leadership question of each of the senators, whether or not they do that.
A good indication is the first inflection point is whether or not there’s a motion to dismiss. Not a motion to call witnesses. Motion to dismiss will be the Senate receives articles and there will be a conservative senator that wants to move a motion to say we’re not even having the trial, we’re going to dismiss it.
Roy Blunt, number four senator in the U.S. Senate came out, said there’s no way 51 Republicans would vote for that, good, there shouldn’t be.
The question is will there be a loyalty test vote?
Does Donald Trump want to see that vote, motion to dismiss, conservative media want to score card who is with the president in dismissing the trial or not.
The converse, does the president want to lose that vote because he will lose that vote.
None of the spotlight would have happened if the house had not withheld articles.