Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina said the Democrats’ impeachment against President Donald Trump is not about his removal from office but rather a scheme to take control of the Senate.

In an op-ed for Fox News published Thursday, Jan. 9, Gowdy stated that Democrats’ impeachment strategy is an acknowledgment they believe President Trump will be re-elected in 2020. 

“The impeachment inquiry, investigation, votes, and ultimate refusal to transmit articles are not about removing Trump from office. Rather, it is a tacit acknowledgment he will be re-elected in November 2020. The plan now is to use the impeachment to neuter that second term with a Democrat-controlled Senate,” Gowdy wrote. 

“This impeachment exercise is most assuredly about removing someone from office. It’s just not about removing Trump from office. It’s about removing Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Thom Tillis, Susan Collins, and Joni Ernst from their senate offices,” he added.

After a slew of closed-door and public hearings on the Ukraine matter, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives last month voted to impeach the president on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Since the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has held off on the transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate as she and some Democratic senators are seeking high-profile witnesses but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signaled he may not call any.  

Gowdy argued that it is the House Democrats had “complete control over the subpoena pen” and it’s their job to “fully investigate matters related to their self-styled impeachment inquiry” not that of the Senate.

“It is not the Senate’s job to both investigate and litigate. It is the Senate’s job to deliberate. If the Senate both investigates and deliberates, why do you need a House?” he said.

Gowdy elaborated Democrats’ tactics, noting that House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who had led the impeachment inquiry, “slipped up and did something unusual” in an interview with NBC.

“This ‘pause’ as [Schiff]he calls it, in transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate, is really calculated to place moderate Republican senators in a bind,” Gowdy said. “He deemed it ‘fleshing’ out where they stand. That is California-speak for making Republican senators in tough re-elections cast as many votes as possible on impeachment so their Democrat opponents can run as many 30 second ads against them as possible.”

Gowdy, who recently confirmed he will not be part of the legal team representing President Trump during his impeachment trial, encouraged Republicans to begin a Senate trial as soon as possible. 

“Senate Republicans should move to acquire jurisdiction and release those Articles of Impeachment from wherever they are currently imprisoned. And Senate Republicans should set a day certain for the trial to begin,” he said.