Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said thus far she will not initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump — but that might soon change as now, a majority of House Democrats say they would vote to proceed with the impeachment inquiry.
Not to interrupt the Marianne Williamson fun, but has anyone noticed all the statements by a bunch of (moderate) House Dems in the last day or two supporting a formal impeachment inquiry? I think we'll get one, and I suspect it's now close to 50-50 that Trump will be impeached.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 31, 2019
The halfway mark was passed — 118 out of 235 voting members support initiating — on Thursday when Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida announced his support.
“[Trump] seems to think that Mueller’s performance wasn’t enough to trigger an impeachment inquiry. Sorry, Mr. President, the question is no longer whether the House should vote to proceed with a formal impeachment inquiry. The inquiry has already begun,” Deutch wrote in an op-ed in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“The remedies for presidential misconduct, including impeachment, are in Congress’s hands. Now that we have Special Counsel Mueller’s report and testimony, it is time for the witnesses of the President’s wrongdoing to appear before the committee as part of our ongoing investigation.”
Only Congress can hold the President accountable for obstruction of justice.— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) August 1, 2019
I support an impeachment inquiry.
We don’t need a House vote. We are already in one.
Read my @SunSentinel op-ed: https://t.co/HpbHDIEWQd
Aside from Deutch, other recent additions to the growing list of those backing initiating proceedings include Reps. Mike Levin of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia.
Besides being motivated by Mueller’s testimony, according to Politico, “Trumps continued attacks on black lawmakers, particularly Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), has ratcheted up the fervor for supporters of impeachment as well.”
“Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who forced a July 17 vote on a measure to impeach the president because of his racist comments about four freshman lawmakers of color, said simply condemning the president has proved ineffective.”
Speaker Pelosi has long affirmed that the House should not launch an impeachment inquiry until they receive information that could help such an effort.
“My position has always been whatever decisions we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand,” Pelosi said after Mueller’s testimony.
Additionally, Pelosi worries that a successful impeachment in the House might lead to an acquittal in the Senate, which would empower Trump in his 2020 reelection campaign.
In a rhetorical sense, this matters because it gives pro-impeachment Dems a key (and easy-to-understand) talking point they didn’t have before:
“A majority of our caucus supports taking this step.”
But will it sway @SpeakerPelosi? Unlikely.
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) August 1, 2019
However, if more Democrats continue to announce their support in initiating impeachment proceedings, Pelosi may need to rethink her position.