As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we’ll start to see the kind of advice columns that pop up every year about this time on how to survive family discussions about politics over the holidays. My favorite comes full of snark from the Onion.
This year the advice-givers are going to have their hands full, because the temperature is about to heat up several notches. According to CNN, this is the timetable House Democrats have planned for the impeachment inquiry.
- November 11-22 House Intelligence Committee holds public hearings
- November 25-29 Thanksgiving break, during which House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees prepare their report to the Judiciary Committee
- December 2-6 House Judiciary Committee holds public hearings
- December 9-13 House Judiciary Committee votes on articles of impeachment
- December 16-20 Full House votes on impeachment
Of course the timeline will be fluid and could change, but that’s the general outline. As Ed Kilgore notes, the fast pace doesn’t necessarily mean that articles of impeachment will be narrowly crafted.
Presumably this timetable would accommodate a non-Ukraine-related article of impeachment or two if House Democrats decide it’s wise to include one. After all, other committees were instructed by Pelosi back in September to consider such possible articles. If, say, the obstruction of justice suggested in the Mueller Report seems actionable, most of the evidentiary work has already been done.
I can’t help but think that Santa Claus has already gathered the evidence on who’s been naughty and nice this year and the packages are in the process of being wrapped to go under the tree.
It is possible, however, that your crazy uncle will have his own fodder for the discussions over the holiday get-together. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz completed his investigation into possible FISA abuse by the FBI back in mid-September and sent his report to the Justice Department for classification review. Since then, there have been a series of breathless reports on right wing media that it is about to be made public. Just this week Senator Lindsey Graham said that it was coming soon and added, “I think his report is going to be stunning. I think it is going to be damning. I think it’s going to prove that the system got off the rails.”
The latest prediction is that the Horowitz report will be released after Thanksgiving and has been held up due to a “complicated and contentious mix of legal, classification and political issues at play.” I suspect that the legal and classification issues were dealt with a while ago. When it comes to the political issues, it is possible that the report is being held up to provide a distraction when the impeachment hearings become the dominant story. In other words, Sean Hannity will be provided with material to up the ante of his attacks on the “deep state” so that he can keep his viewers in the dark about the evidence that has been compiled for impeachment. That’s what your crazy uncle will be railing about as the family gathers for the holidays.
Happy Holidays, and plan accordingly.