Despite boisterous calls for impeachment by some congressional Democrats, the party as a whole appears to be mostly ambivalent about the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump.
The sources confirmed late Monday that during a private conference call held earlier by congressional Democrat leaders, Waters had said “that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile reportedly cautioned that while it’s imperative that Democrats “save our democracy,” saving it via impeachment may not be the best option.
“We have to save our democracy,” she said, according to Fox’s sources. “This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution — if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go. We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”
“Waters’ hesitation and Pelosi’s remarks signaled clearly that, for the time being, any impeachment effort would struggle to gain steam,” Fox pointed out. “Just last week, Waters, D-Calif., took a far more aggressive tone, charging that ‘Congress’ failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms?”
The problem for Democrats is that this desire to just investigate isn’t shared by all congressional Democrats. The party’s radical freshmen members — including Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley– have signaled that they desire impeachment.
It is my duty to hold the President of the United States accountable to the rule of law. https://t.co/kk5025lmGi
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 22, 2019
— Rep Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) April 19, 2019
Impeachment is part of our constitutional responsibility. We have an obligation to investigate whether the President committed impeachable offenses, including:
-Obstruction of justice
-Violating the Emoluments Clause
-Abuse of power https://t.co/Sq907gs7eF
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 18, 2019
Many know I take no pleasure in discussions of impeachment. I didn’t campaign on it, & rarely discuss it unprompted.
We all prefer working on our priorities: pushing Medicare for All, tackling student loans, & a Green New Deal.
But the report squarely puts this on our doorstep.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 18, 2019
Several Democrat presidential candidates have issued similar statements.
“There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution,” Democrat candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at a CNN town hall Monday. “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”
FYI, the same can be said of failed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton …
Candidate Sen. Kamala Harris was even more blunt.
“I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment,” she said during the same town hall.
Ahead of the conference call Monday, Pelosi reportedly released a memo to her junior colleagues.
“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” she reportedly wrote. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”
“Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the president has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.”
According to Fox, during the conference call, she “urged colleagues to read the letter carefully.”
It seems as if her letter — as well as her request that all congressional Democrats read it “carefully” — was a way of her telling the party’s more raucous members to shut up.
This apparent split over impeachment puts the party in a vulnerable position, Fox News commentator Chris Stirewalt argued Monday on “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.”
“Democrats had been helped by ‘well, we’re waiting for Mueller,'” he said. “Well, now that Mueller is here and we have the report … as they speak to radicals, as they speak to those who say we have to impeach now, they don’t have that same tool in their bag.”
“For a long time Pelosi could say we’re not going to do anything til after the report and then we’ll make a judgment. Now the pressure’s on. They’re going to force them to make a decision, and that puts a majority of democrats in an uncomfortable position.”
National Journal political editor Josh Kraushaar appears to agree.
In an op-ed he wrote over the weekend, he reportedly warned, “One of the most reliable maxims in politics is that the party that’s divided is the one that’s losing. And on the issue of how to react to the report, the Democrats are split on the direction going forward.”