Pelosi: Come on, we're "not even close" to backing an impeachment inquiry

Fact check: Mostly true, although Nancy Pelosi herself is a big reason why. Watch this awkward exchange with CNN’s Manu Raju earlier today with the sound off first, and you won’t miss much. Her disdain for a discussion of impeachment comes across loudly and clearly (via Twitchy):

It started getting awkward between Pelosi and Raju within the first few minutes. Pelosi ripped Donald Trump for attacking her in an interview in a military cemetery while commemorating D-Day, arguing that it broke lots of norms about taking domestic fights abroad, Raju noted that Trump was responding to reported criticism by Pelosi. The House Speaker tried to shut down that line of questioning, and finally testily declared that what happens within caucus meetings stays within caucus meetings.

All evidence to the contrary

Speaking of leaking caucus fights, Politico has its own report this morning that Pelosi is getting chippy with Jerrold Nadler, too. Nadler is increasingly demanding that Pelosi allow him to launch a formal impeachment inquiry, while Pelosi continues to oppose it — and so far, so does the rest of her leadership team:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, two longtime allies, are clashing over whether to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump — a sign of how toxic the split over Trump has become for House Democrats.

Nadler has twice urged Pelosi in private to open a formal impeachment inquiry, but the speaker, backed by the majority of her leadership team and her caucus, has maintained that impeaching the president would backfire on Democrats without meaningful Republican support. And there is no sign that Trump’s GOP firewall is cracking. …

Pelosi and other top Democrats argue that most in their party don’t support such a move, especially with no significant GOP support. Even if the Democratic-controlled House voted to impeach Trump, the Republican-run Senate would probably acquit him, they argue, meaning that Trump would not only remain in office but that the move could potentially embolden the GOP base and result in the president’s reelection.

Nadler, meanwhile, has made the case to Pelosi that an impeachment inquiry would streamline their investigations under one committee and would strengthen Democrats’ hand in federal court over challenges to their subpoenas.

We’ll have more on Nadler’s actions for impeachment in later posts. Pelosi answered the Nadler argument in the first clip with Raju. What’s the point of picking that fight when it will end up in court anyway, Pelosi wonders, and in the meantime it runs a large political risk? Better to go through normal investigations and collect as much detrimental information as possible, and then present it to voters in next year’s elections. A fully developed impeachment process would likely take at least that long, especially with Trump fighting subpoenas in courts over executive privilege.

So far, most of Pelosi’s caucus agrees. Or perhaps they’re just not ready to cross her. Those are not the same thing, and Pelosi had better take care that she doesn’t confuse one for the other.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on December 09, 2022