The House Intelligence Committee announced over the weekend that, despite an impeachment report now available to Members of Congress, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his team will continue to look for witnesses to interview in the matter of whether President Donald Trump inked a quid-pro-quo with Ukrainian leaders.
But just as it looks like the House is gearing up for an impeachment vote, Democrats — including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — appear to be moving the goalposts yet again, discussing delaying the vote until early next year, and adding additional charges relating to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and a House inquiry into whether President Donald Trump unconstitutionally enriched himself using his office.
Fox News Chad Pegram reported on Twitter late Monday that Democrats now feel that impeachment “doesn’t fit the holiday spirit,” and that a backlog of bills may keep the Democrats’ articles of impeachment off the table until at least 2020.
“Do Democrats have the votes for impeachment?” Pegram asked. “Pelosi is a master at reading her caucus. If Pelosi has the votes she’ll likely give the green light to impeach on the floor. If Pelosi doesn’t have the votes impeachment could wait – conceivably until the New Year.”
The answer was coded but clear.
“A member of Pelosi’s leadership team today told Fox that the backlog of bills up this month in the House ‘works against’ a December impeachment vote. And the Democrat noted that impeachment ‘doesn’t fit the holiday spirit,’” Pegram reported. “That means impeachment could wait until 2020.”
Originally, the Democrats had promised articles of impeachment by Thanksgiving. And then, they promised them by Christmas. Now, it seems more likely that impeachment will wait until early next year, and then, may be pushed back further, given that a January hearing would impact early presidential primaries.
And that’s if impeachment goes off at all. Right now, the idea of impeaching the president remains unpopular and moderate Democrats are pressuring their leadership to come up with an alternative plan, given that Americans — including the editorial boad of the New York Times — remain unconvinced impeachment is a necessary thing.
To handle that, Democrats aren’t dropping the idea of impeachment, but, reportedly, playing with the idea of adding items to the articles of impeachment, according to the Washington Post.
“House Democrats are debating whether to expand articles of impeachment to include charges beyond abuse of power in the Ukraine controversy, setting up a potential internal clash as the party races to impeach President Trump by Christmastime,” WaPo reports. “Members of the House Judiciary Committee and other more liberal-minded lawmakers and congressional aides have been privately discussing the possibility of drafting articles that include obstruction of justice or other ‘high crimes’ they believe are clearly outlined in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report — or allegations that Trump has used his office to benefit his bottom line.”
That doesn’t solve moderate Democrats’ problems, though. They will still have to go home to their districts and explain the impeachment inquiry even if they won’t personally be voting on the report.
Author: Emily Zanotti