There has been a lot of talk about a possible impeachment of
President Trump lately, but it appears to be just talk. New comments from a key
Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee indicate that Democrats who favor
impeachment are far short of the votes to force Speaker Pelosi to take up the
In an interview with a Yahoo News podcast, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said that about 40 House Democrats now support impeachment. Cohen added that about 90 percent of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee would support impeachment. Nevertheless, with a Democratic caucus that numbers 235, the uprising against Speaker Pelosi’s decision to focus on the upcoming election rather than impeachment is too small to force a policy change.
While a revolt by 40 congressional Democrats is unusual, Speaker Pelosi has a long history of keeping a tight rein on her caucus. She is a shrewd politician who has had much luck controlling her party’s representatives than recent Republican speakers.
Nancy Pelosi has said
numerous times that she opposes impeachment unless there is overwhelming bipartisan
support. She echoed that opinion again yesterday, telling
reporters, “The president’s behavior in terms of his obstruction of
justice… yes, these could be impeachable offenses. If we can get the facts to
the American people through our investigation, it may take us to a place that
is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not. But we’re not at that place.”
Thus far, only one Republican, Justin
Amash, has announced his support for impeachment. With a Republican
majority in the Senate, Pelosi would want to see support from significant
numbers of Republican senators before she moves in the House. So far, that has
I predicted last year, Nancy Pelosi is unlikely to enter into a battle over
impeachment that she cannot win. Although the House would certainly vote to
impeach, Donald Trump would survive a Senate vote and might well emerge from
the process stronger.
President Trump senses this as well and seems to be
attempting to goad
Democrats into impeachment with increasingly obstructive behavior with
respect to House investigations. The unpopular president likely hopes that impeachment
would be even more unpopular and would salvage his hopes for re-election.
The speaker intends to have it both ways. Although beating
Trump in the election is far more likely than impeaching him, Pelosi will keep
up the pressure on Trump by trolling him incessantly and keeping the
impeachment option on the table. The president typically takes the bait and
fires back at her barbs, making him look erratic and unhinged, as he did this
week when he stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Democratic leaders
after three minutes.
If unforced errors like that one continue, the Democrats won’t
need to impeach Trump. Voters will send him packing next year.