In an urgent conference call earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the two top Democrats in the House of Representatives, both rejected the idea of immediately moving forward with impeachment proceedings targeting President Trump.
The top two House Democrats called a “time out” of sorts on the topic of impeaching President Trump, which comes as a hard blow to the more progressive House colleagues and many leftist activists who’ve been beating the impeachment drum for years now.
Nancy Pelosi had called on 170 Democratic members of Congress to attend an urgent, 90- minute conference call, where she announced leadership’s decision to forgo instituting impeachment proceedings.
According to the Daily Wire:
Pelosi announced the decision to forgo instituting impeachment proceedings on a call with House leaders Tuesday morning telling 170 Democratic Members of Congress on an insane, 90-minute conference call, that the House will instead focus on investigating the President and let the American people decide what to believe in November of 2020.
Fox News reports that Pelosi told her colleagues that “we have to save our democracy.”
“This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go,” she added, before claiming that the “facts” simply don’t point to removing the President from office quite yet — but that further investigation could lead there.
“We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”
In a letter released ahead of the call, Pelosi got into greater detail.
“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote to Democratic Members. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”
“Whether currently indictable or not,” she added, “it is clear that the president has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.”
In other words, Pelosi plans on spending the next eighteen months directing multiple investigations into Trump, his finances, his businesses, and his White House, in the hopes that the public impact of such probes will seriously injure the President, giving Democrats an advantage in the 2020 election.
According to Fox News:
Leaders of the House Democrats backed off the idea of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump in an urgent conference call Monday evening amid a growing rift among the party’s rank-and-file members, presidential contenders and committee chairs on the contentious issue.
Fox News is told by two senior sources on the private conference call that even House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, an anti-Trump firebrand, told fellow Democrats that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her leadership team were clear there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment, Fox News is also told. Well-placed sources said it was a spirited 87-minute call involving more than 170 Democrat members, including House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.
“We have to save our democracy,” Pelosi said, according to the sources. “This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go.”
Pelosi asserted that more investigations were needed: “We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”
Waters’ hesitation and Pelosi’s remarks signaled clearly that, for the time being, any impeachment effort would struggle to gain steam. Just last week, Waters, D-Calif., took a far more aggressive tone, charging that “Congress’ failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms.”
It seems to me that the Democrats are divided as ever on this issue, with those pulling to the progressive left aggressively calling for hearings, and those pulling to the moderate center opposing such measures.
As stated earlier, progressive activists were left complaining and whining (again) upon hearing of the decision:
This is unbelievably disappointing. Even if you don't ultimately pursue impeachment proceedings, why on Earth would you say this today?
Part of the American people making a judgment in 2020 requires a full account of the President's criminality and abuse of power. https://t.co/DB634jA2Fq
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 18, 2019
The Steny Hoyer quote is just unreal.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 18, 2019
What about the election that happened 6 months ago when people voted for Democrats on the promise they would hold Trump accountable? https://t.co/sll7sG6v3w
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 18, 2019
And the whining goes on and on and on…
So now political leaders get to break whatever laws they want in order to boost their power and it's all good b/c if the voters get mad they can vote against them afterwards.
If only there were hundreds of years of historical precedent on what happens right after that. https://t.co/lpJmky9LsL
— Hunter (@HunterDK) April 18, 2019
Hard disagree. https://t.co/R66I00MHmv
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 18, 2019
When will the whining ever end?!