The House of Representatives officially impeached President Donald Trump a week before the Christmas holiday.
The trial is expected to head to the Senate, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is holding off on delivering the official articles of impeachment to the Republican-dominated Senate until a fair trial can be guaranteed.
Pelosi's apprehension as to whether Senate Republicans will uphold the oath of impartiality the Constitution mandates before the trial of a President isn't without basis.
Senator and steadfast Trump ally Lindsey Graham (R-CA) scoffed at the idea that he'd be considered an impartial juror. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) even said he'd be taking instructions from the White House on how to conduct it.
While concerns for a fair trial no doubt play a part in Pelosi's decision, some Republican strategists are speculating a possible, secondary motive for withholding the articles—and it all comes down to February 4.
Pelosi recently formally invited Trump to deliver his State of the Union address on February 4, and Paul Rosenzweig—a former official under George W. Bush—thinks it's all about ensuring that Trump is still under an impeachment cloud.
Rosenzweig made clear that it's just a hypothesis—but it's certainly a well-founded one.
Though Senate Republicans have gleefully proven their unshakeable loyalty to Donald Trump in the past, he'd still treat the Senate's endorsement of his corrupt behavior as a total exoneration. It's the exact thing course of action he took with the Mueller Report.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller found ten possible instances of obstruction of justice by Trump and discovered coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, though that coordination wasn't sufficient evidence to charge Trump with Conspiracy with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Attorney General William Barr, appointed by Trump, determined that the Justice Department couldn't indict a sitting president.
Despite the disturbing details in the report, Trump escaped charges, unlike eight people working for his campaign.
To Trump and his supporters, that was exoneration enough.
Trump would almost certainly treat an acquittal by the Senate as the same.
For an answer on if Trump would have a meltdown giving the State of the Union before a Senate trial, one needs only to look at his tweets from today.
The internet has read the evidence—and they think Rosenzwieg might be on to something.
It's sad that the President's erraticism and unpredictability are some of the few predictable traits about him. What's heartening, however, is Pelosi's fine-tuned ability to expose these traits to the nation at every turn.