Democrats scale back on impeachment after Nancy Pelosi says ‘not worth it‘

By – The Washington Times – Tuesday, March 12, 2019

House Democrats have pumped the brakes on impeachment talk Tuesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out against the move, but some still say they want to keep it as an option.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who took office demanding her fellow Democrats “impeach the [expletive],” and who renewed her push as recently as Friday, dialed back after Mrs. Pelosi’s comments, saying she’s content with investigations for now.

Rep. Pramilla Jayapal also sided with Mrs. Pelosi, saying the urgency to impeach is no longer there now that Democrats are in the majority in the House and can dig for evidence.

“Some of us signed on to impeachment articles while we were in the minority because we weren’t even allowed to have a debate and that was at least one way to have the debate, the investigation,” the Democrat from Washington state said. “Now we’re in the majority. We have the gavel. We can get the information we need.”

Mrs. Pelosi upended the push to impeach in an interview with The Washington Post published Monday. Although she still doubts Mr. Trump’s fitness for office, the California Democrat said the process of impeachment would be too damaging to the country.

“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,” Mrs. Pelosi said in the interview. “And he’s just not worth it.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, agreed with Mrs. Pelosi that Mr. Trump shouldn’t be in office, but also that Democrats would need to find “graphic evidence” to make an impeachment case.

“I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience,” Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said. “The only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of impeachment is putting the country through a failed impeachment.”

Other Democrats, who were pushing for impeachment, are confident that there is already ample evidence to impeach the president in legal terms, but they’re lacking the political willpower to get it done at the moment.

“While legally he ought to be impeached, he cannot be removed until we change public opinion. I’m sure when we have bipartisan support the Congress will go forward,” Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat, who introduced impeachment proceedings last year, told The Washington Times.

Part of the problem, Democrats say, is that Senate Republicans will stonewall any attempt to move forward with removing the president.

“We have a very positive proactive agenda,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass of California. “So we don’t want to spend all of our time focusing on impeachment. Especially because we could impeach him every day of the week, but what would happen in the Senate? So what’s the point?”

Not everyone was swayed, though.

Rep. Al Green, the Texas Democrat who introduced impeachment articles last year, said he will try to force a vote.

“You don’t eliminate bigotry by dealing with it in a politically expedient way, you have to take it head on and we can do this,” Mr. Green said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” “History will judge us all. Let’s vote our convictions.”

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries both said that leadership doesn’t plan on blocking any member from bringing impeachment related resolutions to the floor for a vote and that it won’t detract from the party’s legislative agenda.

“We did not run on impeachment. We did not win on impeachment. We are not governing with a focus on impeachment,” Mr. Jeffries said.

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