Politics: House Democrats fall in line with Pelosi’s no-impeachment strategy despite Trump’s defiance - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsHouse Democrats fall in line with Pelosi’s no-impeachment strategy despite Trump’s defiance

04:25  16 may  2019
04:25  16 may  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Nancy Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'

Nancy Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that President Donald Trump is trying to provoke Democrats into proceeding with impeachment.

WASHINGTON ― Fifty-eight House Democrats voted to advance the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, in direct It may seem like this was an overwhelming confirmation of Trump ― and it was, in the sense that no Republican voted to advance impeachment and more than

Pelosi noted that she'd be criticized within her own party for not pushing harder on the issue. She' s not the only top Democrat so far to dismiss the idea of impeachment . House Democrats will have subpoena power and will be able to investigate every facet of Trump ' s presidency and business career.

House Democrats fall in line with Pelosi’s no-impeachment strategy despite Trump’s defiance© J. Scott Applewhite/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a Democratic news conference on health care at the Capitol on Wednesday.

President Trump, who is refusing to cooperate with more than 20 congressional investigations, instructed current and former aides Wednesday to ignore a House committee’s request for documents in the latest act of defiance that has prompted Democrats to declare the nation is facing a constitutional crisis.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Democrats in a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday morning to stick to their policy agenda ahead of the 2020 election rather than initiate impeachment proceedings. And not a single lawmaker challenged her, according to a person in the room who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

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Though Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to impeach President Trump , she may not be able to stop the There’ s one person in America with the power to make Donald Trump ’ s impeachment happen, and And despite what Pelosi says, it’ s likely to happen. Democrats control the House , and about

Pelosi has called for prudence as Democrats gather more information, but the White House has refused And while she has warned that Trump is merely “goading” Democrats toward impeachment in an effort to Even those who have fallen in line with Pelosi ’ s calls to slow-walk any steps toward

The events underscored that Pelosi has managed to hold the line on her no-impeachment stance despite Trump’s ongoing resistance and relentless liberal pressure for Democrats to try to oust the Republican president. Most notably, she has quelled an internal clamor and kept even the most vocal impeachment proponents and eager investigators in check along with committee chairs as Democrats increasingly look to the courts to settle the fight between Congress and the chief executive.

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In the nearly hour-long session heavily focused on health care, Pelosi was the only one to bring up impeachment, acknowledging that some Democrats are complaining.

Step by step: Democrats play the long game against Trump

Step by step: Democrats play the long game against Trump First came the sternly worded letters. Then the subpoenas. Now the votes to hold Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); As House Democrats plod ahead investigating President Donald Trump, against unprecedented stonewalling by the White House, they are pursuing a long-game strategy that's playing out in the committee rooms, the courthouse and in the court of public opinion. And it's going to take time.

Democrats like Nancy Pelosi sincerely believe that impeachment is terrible for the country. Republicans impeached Clinton because there was no bipartisan consensus to do more than that. Anti- Trump passions have therefore presented Democrats like Pelosi with a tricky balance to strike.

The Democrats charge that Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Cohen said he spoke briefly with Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer, who has launched a million ad buy calling for Trump ’ s impeachment , and to the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi .

“Why aren’t we impeaching the president?” she said, parroting their words. “Why aren’t we impeaching him? They get a little down,” she said of frustrated members of her party.

“The point is that we need to show [voters] that we are doing all of these other things that they care about so much,” Pelosi said. Not a single lawmaker in the room protested.

In the latest example of the president’s resistance, the White House told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that it was refusing a broad demand for records and testimony sent to 81 Trump allies and affiliated companies.

In his letter, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone repeated a claim the White House and Trump’s business have begun making — that Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate the questions it is pursuing.

Before the White House letter, Nadler seemed to walk a fine line on impeachment during a CNBC interview, saying Trump is making it “increasingly difficult” to avoid it but also arguing that the House is probably not headed in that direction.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi offered a forced smile recently when asked on MSNBC about a Tom Steyer-sponsored ad that calls for President Donald Trump ’ s impeachment . “That’ s a great ad,” Pelosi said twice, before rushing to plug the Democrats ’ Better Deal economic agenda as the TV hit

Six House Democrats on Wednesday launched the latest official effort to oust President Trump , introducing five new articles of impeachment revolving around the central theme that the president is a danger to the country.

“It depends on what comes out,” Nadler said. “It depends where the American people are, whether they want to go that way or not. I don’t want to make it sound as if we’re heading for impeachment. Probably we’re not.”

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”: “We are already a bitterly divided country, and an impeachment process will divide us further.”

Democrats have issued numerous subpoenas in their investigations as they seek documents and witnesses related to Trump’s businesses, his tax returns and details on administration policies. The president and senior officials have refused to comply.

Lawmakers are also seeking the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the underlying evidence to determine whether they should impeach Trump. But the Justice Department has refused to relinquish much of that information, despite a congressional subpoena.

For Democrats, their hopes rest with the courts. Nadler told reporters Wednesday that he would issue subpoenas for any information he needs that the White House is blocking — then take the matter to court after a series of contempt votes if they refuse.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that even if Democrats were to retake control of the House in the 2018 elections, pushing for impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump would not be one of their legislative priorities.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi , for one, has tried to lower expectations, dumping ice water on the pro- impeachment caucus. President Trump is trying to inflame these tensions, tweeting his great appreciation for Pelosi ’ s “statement against impeachment .”

But House Democratic leaders have yet to schedule a vote for the first package of contempt resolutions, including one for Attorney General William P. Barr. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters that a full House vote on Barr’s contempt citation, approved by the Judiciary Committee last week, and any others wouldn’t occur until next month at the earliest.

That would set up a future lawsuit — perhaps weeks or months later — to enforce the contempt citations in the federal courts.

“This case may take some time, but ultimately I think the courts will . . . rule on behalf of the Congress of the United States and its legitimate constitutional capacity to oversee the executive branch,” Hoyer said.

On Tuesday, a federal judge gave Pelosi allies hope that the courts would come to their rescue, expressing skepticism about a Trump move to quash a congressional subpoena and promising to fast-track the case to deliver a quick verdict.

“I would like to thank the president for helping our court case immensely,” said Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and member of Pelosi’s leadership team. Asked whether it was time to impeach Trump, Lieu responded: “Not there yet. I think we would try a court case first.”

Ironically, Democratic investigators could benefit from starting impeachment proceedings, legal experts argue, because they would have a greater chance of getting some of the documents.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined by other House Democrats at a news conference in the US Capitol on March 24, 2017. Al Green of Texas, a Democrat , to impeach Trump . The most recent instance occurred in January, when only 66 Democrats voted to keep the impeachment resolution

House Democrats have vowed to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’ s proclamation against it. Socialist AOC expressed disappointment in Pelosi ’ s comments and hinted that Democrats may ignore her.

Democrats’ falling in line despite their anger toward the president is yet another reminder of Pelosi’s hold on her caucus, power Trump often tells associates he admires. Lawmakers say they ­either trust her political instincts — or are privately afraid of incurring her wrath.

Even the most impassioned impeachment backers such as Reps. Al Green (D-Tex.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) have declined to organize against or lobby Pelosi to reconsider. Not one has taken her on by name to increase public pressure for impeachment.

“For the speaker, as a leader of the caucus, she has to consider a lot more than I do, and we would expect her to do that — that’s why she is the leader and the speaker,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a former police officer who wants to start impeachment proceedings but had only good things to say about Pelosi’s strategy. “And I think she will get to the place, in a very strategic way, that we need her to get to. I trust her judgment.”

It’s a turnabout for Pelosi. She put down an uprising after the 2018 election as a group of rebels tried to deny her a second stint as speaker. But since then, particularly after Pelosi steered her party through a 35-day government shutdown fight with Trump, rank-and-file members have deferred to her on issues like impeachment.

Only billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer has dared to challenge Pelosi directly on impeachment, but even then, he has done so carefully. This week, Steyer name-checked Pelosi on social media and wrote a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed arguing that Democratic leadership was making a mistake by refusing to impeach Trump.

Pelosi: Trump is 'crying out' for impeachment but House Democrats are not on that path

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Nancy Pelosi really does not want to impeach Donald Trump —and she’ s prepared to take all the heat from her party and from the new House Democratic majority she’ s hoping to lead, unless she sees something wildly different emerge. But she said she won’t let Robert Mueller define the decision.

The latest whirlwind of news about Trump , Comey and Russia has again stoked the chorus for impeachment . To many ears, the lines were a blank admission of obstruction of justice à la Nixon. Several congressional Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings of some kind.

“Speaker Pelosi and conventional wisdom are wrong,” Steyer wrote on Facebook on Monday. “Impeachment — in addition to being the right thing to do — is also good politics for Democrats.”

Still, even Steyer has refrained from hosting an impeachment town hall in the San Francisco area. His group “Need to Impeach” has hosted town halls in the districts of Democratic chairmen.

Still, not every Democrat is content with Pelosi’s strategy.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said “at some point, as every committee gets stonewalled . . . the case for impeachment as a mechanism to get what we need . . . gets stronger and stronger.”

Asked if he thinks Pelosi will support impeachment eventually, Grijalva replied: “I think a lot of people are going to have to reconcile themselves to that.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a liberal, said Pelosi has been clear that she needs to see public support for such an effort before she moves ahead, especially with Republicans controlling the Senate and insisting Democrats should stop investigating the president.

“I think she’s left the door open, but she’s not going to lead an effort which doesn't have the significant majority of the Congress behind it,” Khanna said.

Khanna scoffed at the prospect of anyone trying to push Pelosi into it: “People have been betting against Nancy Pelosi on losing the trust of the caucus for 20 years, and they always tend to be wrong.

Democrats, in the meantime, plan to take turns Thursday reading the redacted, 448-page Mueller report.

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Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.

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