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Politics Pelosi’s narrow impeachment strategy could help California Dems in swing seats

07:30  11 december  2019
07:30  11 december  2019 Source:   sfchronicle.com

Republicans are once again using massive signs to defend Trump during an impeachment hearing, this time using Democrats' own words

  Republicans are once again using massive signs to defend Trump during an impeachment hearing, this time using Democrats' own words During Wednesday's impeachment inquiry hearing, Republicans displayed quotes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Al Green, and Rep. Jerry Nadler.The signs, which were positioned behind Republicans' seats during the hearing, displayed quotes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Al Green, and Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler.

Vulnerable House Democrats in swing districts are resisting pressure to back the launching of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Even as a majority of the House Democratic Caucus backs impeachment , many of the “majority makers” in swing districts have stayed on the sidelines.

The impeachment of Richard Nixon also points in favor of a narrow strategy , writes The Beltway calculus. Many Democrats in swing districts that Mr. Trump won in 2016 are Marc A. Thiessen writes that Nancy Pelosi may have signed a political death warrant for moderate Democrats in Trump districts.

Video provided by Reuters

WASHINGTON — House Democrats’ less-is-more approach to impeaching President Trump could be an election-year boon for lawmakers in purple districts who helped the party grab control of the chamber last year.

That includes a pair of California lawmakers — Reps. Josh Harder and TJ Cox — who flipped GOP-held seats in the Central Valley and face tough re-election fights in 2020.

Both are among a group of moderate Democrats whom Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, has sought to shield from backlash in districts where the impeachment inquiry has polarized voters.

'Don’t mess with me.' Pelosi slams reporter for asking if she 'hates the president'

  'Don’t mess with me.' Pelosi slams reporter for asking if she 'hates the president' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed a Sinclair news reporter for asking if she hates President Trump. © Provided by Washington ExaminerThe House speaker was walking out of her weekly press conference when James Rosen asked, "Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?" Pelosi stopped and returned to the microphones to condemn the question, telling reporters she is a Catholic and prays for the president.“Don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that,” Pelosi said. “As a Catholic I resent you using hate in a sentence that references me.

“Recent revelations about President Trump’s conduct are testing the limits of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’ s narrow impeachment strategy , leading some Democrats to wonder whether the probe should be expanded beyond the Ukraine scandal,” the Washington Post reports.

Ms. Pelosi ’ s decision to push forward with the most severe action that Congress can take against a sitting president could usher in a remarkable new “The misguided Democrat impeachment strategy is meant to appease their rabid, extreme, leftist base, but will only serve to embolden and energize

Pelosi and Democratic leaders unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump on Tuesday, one for alleged abuse of power for asking Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the other for alleged obstruction of Congress by resisting subpoenas for documents and witness testimony into the Ukrainian affair.

The scope of the articles is far more restrained than some liberal Democrats hoped. They had pushed the House to include articles accusing Trump of bribery, for withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine while he sought a Biden investigation announcement, and obstruction of justice over his actions during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

'Salem witches got better deals than this': Graham rages at Pelosi's impeachment announcement

  'Salem witches got better deals than this': Graham rages at Pelosi's impeachment announcement Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following her Thursday morning announcement that she would be pursuing articles of impeachment against President Trump. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc."Glad to see @SpeakerPelosi is 'keeping her word' to be thoughtful and prayerful about impeachment," Graham tweeted sarcastically. "One day after hearings involving law professors giving their opinions she is directing Articles of Impeachment be drafted. Salem witches got better deals than this.

The real reason for Pelosi ’ s caution was political. She feared impeachment would generate a The FiveThirtyEight impeachment tracker indicates that she was right about that, and Pelosi sent a message Political strategizing also helps to explain why there are only two articles of impeachment .

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, a dramatic and historic move that comes as the President faces outrage over reports that he pressured a foreign leader in an effort to target a political rival.

Allan Lichtman, a historian at American University in Washington, D.C., said the narrowly tailored articles suggest Pelosi had two primary aims: to protect Democrats in swing districts at the ballot box, and prevent as many Democrats as possible from defecting during an impeachment vote on the House floor.

All but two Democrats voted in October to open an impeachment inquiry.

The same is true of the Democrats’ impeachment timeline, Lichtman said: The inquiry could be a distant memory by next November if the House votes before Christmas and the GOP-controlled Senate acquits Trump, as expected, in January.

Video provided by Reuters

“It very much caters to the moderates,” Lichtman said of the House Democrats’ impeachment approach. “The leadership strategy has turned out to be very shrewd.”

House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment

  House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before."Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before.

Pelosi has literally scheduled back-to-back press conferences to announce articles of impeachment 9a House Dems press conference, articles of impeachment expected. 10a Speaker Pelosi press Earlier this year, Bush weighed a run for the 7th Congressional District, the seat once represented by

Maxine Waters of California , left, and Rep. But for Democrats in swing districts, the impeachment vote could mean disaster, and they might be open to just about anything that would save them from having to cast a vote to oust a president They could upset Nancy Pelosi ’ s plans to impeach Trump.

Harder of Turlock (Stanislaus County) and Cox of Fresno were among California’s seven Democrats who flipped House seats in last year’s “blue wave” election that gave the party control of the House.

They were among the last Democrats to back an inquiry, withholding support until Pelosi announced she would initiate proceedings over the revelation that Trump asked Ukraine’s president in July to investigate Biden.

And they’ve both been targeted by national Republicans in next year’s elections. Cox faces a likely rematch with the GOP incumbent he ousted last year by the thinnest of margins, David Valadao. Several Republicans are running against Harder.

On Tuesday, Cox said he was treating impeachment with “the attention it demands” and was studying the results of the House’s investigation. Harder’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Both lawmakers, however, cheered the announcement that House Democrats have agreed to support a new U.S., Mexico and Canada trade agreement, in a deal with the White House. It includes labor and environmental provisions absent from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Former top attorney for Obama suggests Dems should impeach Trump again if Senate acquits

  Former top attorney for Obama suggests Dems should impeach Trump again if Senate acquits An impeachment trial in the Republican-led Senate is largedly expected to fail but that may not stop some Democrats from pushing for another impeachment after President Trump's would-be re-election in 2020."If the Senate doesn’t vote to convict Trump, or tries to monkey w his trial, he could of course be retried in the new Senate should he win re-election," tweeted Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under former President Obama.

(CNN) Nearly every Democrat in the US House of Representatives have now said they support an impeachment investigation into President Donald Even if the House could pass the vote, it likely would go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, one of many reasons the issue has been

Dems want impeachment . Nancy Pelosi doesn't. The split was even more pronounced in the pivotal swing state of Pennsylvania, where a May poll showed 41% in favor of an investigation to determine whether or not to impeach and 55 Further, there's no real sign that Pelosi ' s strategy isn't working.

Pelosi and a group of mostly moderate Democrats announced the trade deal within an hour of her and House leadership unveiling impeachment articles against Trump.

“This is a major victory for our Valley farmers and for keeping jobs here in the US,” Harder tweeted. Cox, similarly, took to Twitter to declare the deal “delivers for American workers.”

Katie Merrill, a Democratic political strategist in Berkeley, said the timing was no accident. She said Democrats realize that voters in swing districts care most about “kitchen table issues” and that moderate Democrats need to show that legislating remains their priority amid impeachment.

“They have continued to do that while they are multitasking the impeachment inquiry,” Merrill said. “Trade is a huge issue in those districts because they’re agricultural districts.”

The calculation to keep the impeachment strategy narrow could also be one of optics, said Terry Moe, a political science professor at Stanford. He said there’s ample evidence to show Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller probe, but that the inquiry hasn’t captured the public’s attention the same way the Watergate scandal did with Richard Nixon. Obstruction of justice was one of the articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee approved in 1974 against Nixon, days before he resigned.

According to Real Clear Politics’ index of public polling, public sentiment on whether to impeach Trump is virtually tied.

“They’re really just going with simplicity and unity here,” Moe said of House Democrats’ strategy. “The broader this thing gets, the more it puts these moderate Democrats on the spot.”

Dustin Gardiner is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: dustin.gardiner@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @dustingardiner

‘It's really sick’: Pelosi rips Trump’s impeachment letter .
Speaker Nancy Pelosi trashed President Trump’s six-page letter criticizing her leadership on impeachment the day before the House is slated to vote on the two articles. © Provided by Washington ExaminerIn the letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday afternoon, Trump blasted House Democrats for their “partisan impeachment crusade,” accusing them of showing "unfettered contempt" for the system of government installed by the Founding Fathers.

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