Democrats who have been waving their impeachment torches and pitchforks at President Trump are not only retreating, some claim the option was never even considered.
House Democratic leaders reportedly meeting Monday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the end of talks about impeachment proceedings against Trump in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s submission of his final report to Attorney General William Barr, The Washington Post reported.
“Based on Barr’s reporting of the Mueller report . . . there’s a sense that there’s less discussion about impeachment,” Rep. David N. Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said ahead of the meeting.
“We need to focus on . . . the promises we made during the campaign,” the Rhode Island Democrat responded when asked about his remarks after the huddle.
House Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Cheri Bustos also reportedly raised concerns about the attention on the probe and the need for Democrats to turn their focus back on the issues that voters care about.
But Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who has launched his own sweeping investigation in hopes of finding something to condemn Trump, turned the focus on Barr during a phone call with Pelosi and House committee chairs on Sunday, joining other House Democrats who raised a new alarm that the attorney general was protecting the president.
Mueller’s findings “may be a partisan interpretation of the facts,” Nadler and other House chairs said in a statement, as impeachment plans seemed to move further out of reach.
The Washington Post reported:
Mueller’s conclusions on the Russia conspiracy question and Barr’s related decision on obstruction further diminished the hopes of some on the left that Trump might be vulnerable to impeachment for crimes related to Russian election interference. Some Democrats even insisted that impeachment was never seriously on the table.
“I was never for impeachment discussions; that’s like putting the cart before the horse,” House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel said.
“It never went through my mind,” the New York Democrat, who has his own Trump-Russia investigation underway, added.
Pelosi, meanwhile, has commented that impeachment is “just not worth it.”
“I’m not for impeachment.” Pelosi told The Washington Post earlier this month. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.”
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Politico reported that Democrats who have been hoping to force Trump from office “came to grips with a harsh new reality” as Mueller’s investigation ended as “some of the most fervent supporters for impeaching Donald Trump are going silent.”
“Whatever the bet was last week that the president wouldn’t finish out his term, that bet is not as good this week,” Rep. Brad Sherman told Politico Monday.
“Our best single source of game-changing revelations was the Mueller report, and according to Barr, there aren’t any game-changing revelations in it,” the California Democrat who has filed articles of impeachment against Trump two times, said.
One of the biggest mouths in the pro-impeachment club has been Rep. Maxine Waters, who has repeatedly and very vocally condemned the president as a criminal without offering any evidence and called for him to be removed from office. But even the California congresswoman seemed rather subdued Monday when asked about impeachment in the wake of Mueller’s findings.
“I think we do nothing now but concentrate on getting the information, getting that report,” Waters declared, according to Politico. “[Impeachment has] never been discussed as a strategy for this caucus. It’s only a few of us.”
According to Politico:
Privately, top Democrats said they were relieved that, at least for now, lawmakers insisting on Trump’s removal from office were likely to be much less vocal, allowing the caucus to potentially turn the focus to its legislative agenda, something they’ve struggled with since taking over the House in January.
At a leadership meeting Monday night, Democratic leaders emphasized the need for lawmakers to highlight their loaded legislative schedule this week — from voting on a gender-pay bill to introducing sweeping health care legislation — and demonstrate that Democrats aren’t consumed with the Mueller report.
“But it seems to me that we have seen no grounds, at all, for impeachment proceedings to be started by the House,” GOP Sen. Susan Collins from Maine told Politico. “When even Speaker Pelosi says that it would not be the right route, I believe that puts it to rest regarding these allegations.”
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