Republicans this week revived the Democratic Party’s primary-rigging scandal of 2016 and accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of timing her transfer of the articles of impeachment to impact the Democratic presidential race.
During the 2016 primary, leaked documents revealed that the Democratic National Committee did the bidding of candidate Hillary Clinton to increase her chances of beating Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
President Donald Trump tweeted that Pelosi was now playing a similar game, citing the weeks-long gap between when the House passed the articles of impeachment and when Pelosi formally transferred them to the Senate.
The timing matters, because the impeachment trial, currently set to begin in earnest Tuesday, will likely overlap with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Candidates such as Sanders and fellow Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will be forced to stay in Washington to fulfill their roles in the impeachment trial.
Meanwhile, other candidates will be campaigning in person in those early voting states.
“They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously,” Trump tweeted Friday. “They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again.”
….Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that’s the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
“Very unfair, but that’s the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun to watch!” Trump added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, made similar observations, Fox News reported.
“Within [Pelosi’s] own leadership, there were questions about why she held [the articles],” he said during a news conference Tuesday.
“But if there’s anyone who gained from this, it’d be anybody who’s running for president that’s not in the U.S. Senate. With Iowa quickly upon us in early February, those four senators who are running for president will now no longer have a voice.”
“[I]f you look at the true political nature of why — [it was] to harm one campaign and give a benefit to another,” he said.
On TYT a few weeks ago they were discussing Pelosi’s delay and they speculated that one of the reasons she might be waiting was so that Bernie would be hindered in campaigning on the early primaries. Now that it’s happened, I believe that is exactly what she was doing.
— Bernie Babe 🌹 (@caltron01) January 17, 2020
So much fo a speedy trial desired by the WH, the Senate Impeachment trial May run through Iowa caucuses, SOTU, and even the NH primaries. Dem Sen running for office should thank Pelosi for delay that hurts their campaign. https://t.co/0XfR5wfieh via @BreitbartNews
— Edwin Mora (@EdwinMora83) January 17, 2020
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) January 14, 2020
McCarthy noted that the 2016 scandal showed Democrats have not been averse to rigging the system.
“I know what happened 4 years ago. Something no one thought would,” he said.
“That the head of a complete party of the Democrat National Committee resigning the day before, actually the night before, the nominating convention. Why? Because emails came out to show that one of the main campaigners, Sen. Bernie Sanders, was cheated.”
Out of fairness, Democratic front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden should suspend his campaign during the trial, McCarthy said.
“The only rightful thing of Joe Biden is to make a pledge not to campaign while Bernie Sanders cannot — after what the Democratic National Committee had done to his campaign a few short years ago,” he said.
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