Despite previously expressing a reticence to engage in a divisive and partisan impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has nevertheless given the go-ahead for Democrat committee chairs like Adam Schiff (CA) and Jerry Nadler (NY) to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment.
However, as Pelosi herself previously warned, that move places moderate and swing-district Democrats in an incredibly tough position. They have to choose between backing their party leader or respecting their constituents who don’t support impeachment — and according to the Washington Examiner, more than a few of those Democrats are looking for a way to bail out and avoid any political consequences.
Moderate Dems aren’t sold
According to the Examiner, it was actually CNN that first reported that a number of anonymous moderate Democrats are squirming under the growing pressure of the likely upcoming articles of impeachment.
One moderate Democrat was reportedly “struggling” to even understand the party’s case for impeachment, as it was based entirely on “secondhand” information, while another complained that party leaders like Pelosi had seemingly given no consideration to the potential consequences moderate members could suffer come time for re-elections.
“I would say, look, I am concerned about not knowing what the articles will have in them. I am concerned about the timeline of this whole impeachment process,” the first unnamed moderate reportedly told CNN. “For me, right now, I am struggling to see how the evidence supports impeachment at this point.”
The second anonymous lawmaker said: “The fact of the matter is, this does have political consequences, and the people who will suffer significant political consequences are our moderate members. In fact, there are on-year amounts of money being spent in districts all across our moderates.”
That Democrat added: “For our leadership not to engage with moderates at all to either talk about how they are going to message or what they are going to put in it seems to be a giant oversight.”
How many will peel away from Pelosi?
There have already been a few Democrat members of the House that have either publicly come out against impeachment or expressed their reservations about pressing forward with such.
The current fear among Dems is that there are many more moderate members of the party who will peel away from Pelosi and vote against the eventual — and likely ambiguous — articles of impeachment.
One main reason for that is a worry, expressed both on background and on-the-record, that the eventual articles will range far beyond just the Ukraine issue at the heart of the current proceedings and include other allegedly impeachable offenses, such as obstruction of justice during Robert Mueller’s investigation.
That would lend credence to the long-held belief among the president and his supporters that Democrats have been intending to impeach Trump for any reason they can muster since the day he was first sworn into office.
It remains to be seen what will ultimately be included in the seemingly inevitable articles of impeachment, but a more important question — particularly for Pelosi and her leadership — remains: How many Democrats will actually vote in favor of those unknown articles, and how many will defy their leader? Only time will tell.