Politico published a story today suggesting there is some behind-the-scenes uncertainty among Democrats about what exactly the House plans to do about impeachment:
Conflicting signals from the House’s most powerful Democrats have left rank-and-file lawmakers exasperated, unable to say confidently whether the House is, in fact, considering one of the weightiest actions any Congress can take: recommending President Donald Trump’s impeachment…
Sixteen House Democrats, in interviews, offered wildly conflicting assessments of the status of the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation of Trump, which its chairman — Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) — bills as an “impeachment investigation.”
“We have been in the midst of an impeachment investigation,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a member of the Judiciary Committee.
“No, we’re not in an impeachment investigation,” said a second lawmaker, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
A third, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said the House is investigating to determine “whether or not there should be an impeachment investigation.”
The correct answer seems to be the third one. The House hasn’t voted to impeach it’s merely conducting an investigation that could lead to an impeachment vote. Rep. Nadler and some Democrats are calling it an impeachment investigation to play it up for the media while others in the party are playing it down:
In a Democratic Caucus meeting on Tuesday morning — their first in-person gathering since the end of July — the topic was briefly mentioned, according to people in the room. Pelosi said the Judiciary Committee’s process is “keeping open the options for all of us,” according to a source who was inside the room.
One Democrat who is keeping his options open is Rep. Adam Schiff. You can try to listen to this without clawing your own face off but it won’t be easy. The bottom line is he hasn’t “made a firm judgment.”
Rep. Adam Schiff on impeachment: "I want to make sure that we can make the case to the country that this president's conduct is so incompatible with the office that we had to take this step. So I haven't made a firm judgment." pic.twitter.com/qq0lysbLkS
— The Hill (@thehill) September 10, 2019
Meanwhile, AOC wants this done ASAP as a way to stick it to Senate Republicans:
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on potential impeachment inquiry:
"I want to see every Republican go on the record and knowingly vote against impeachment of this president knowing his corruption, having it on the record … because this is outrageous to protect the amount of lawlessness." pic.twitter.com/FCGzNeiccI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 10, 2019
Not only does AOC not think this political stunt is going anywhere, but she also doesn’t seem confident a Democrat is going to win the 2020 election:
“This president will not last,” added Ocasio-Cortez, “whether he’s voted out next year or whether he serves another term, this president will not last, but those members in the Senate need to carry that legacy and they need to go to bat for what they’re doing.”
Polls have continually shown the public has no appetite for this sideshow, which is why Pelosi is smart to downplay it. But as we all know, AOC doesn’t really care about accomplishing anything so long as she gets to strike a revolutionary pose. She was eager to drive Amazon out of New York without knowing what she was talking about. In June she demanded House Democrats add things to a border funding bill and then complained when the Republican Senate killed the bill, even though she herself had voted against it. Whatever her strategery is on impeachment, you can bet it won’t accomplish anything either.