WASHINGTON — Diving into an impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump the moment Democrats take the House gavel in January does not make every member of the caucus feel particularly comfortable, according to several Democrats.
“I don’t know of any Democrats in any position of leadership who are talking about impeachment. Nadler has talked about it but only in response to questions on one of the Sunday talk shows,” Democratic Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver told The Daily Caller Monday night.
Cleaver continued, “And I had a personal conversation with him one on one in which he said, ‘Look, we’re going to do oversight, you know, we’ve got to make sure that if we’re going to undo the will of the voters that we have sufficient violations of crimes of high crimes and misdemeanors.’ And he said we’re not there yet. I saw Adam Schiff. I had not had a private conversation with him but on TV he’s been saying the same thing.” (RELATED: Impeachment Talk, Comey’s Memory Loss, And Social Media Scalp-Hunters)
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN last Sunday that if special counsel Robert Mueller proved that Trump ordered his former attorney Michael Cohen to commit campaign finance violations, it could be enough for an impeachment charge in his mind.
“Whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question,” Nadler added.
Cleaver told TheDC that other Democrats are just as uncomfortable as he is with moving toward impeaching the president, saying such an action could politically backfire on the caucus the way it did with House Republicans during the Bill Clinton impeachment in the late 1990s.
“I’m opposed to any talk of impeachment right now in spite of the fact that I got people from my hometown calling in and screaming at me about why I’m not supporting impeachment. And I’ve had a couple of colleagues tell me the same thing today,” Cleaver said.
He explained, “One mistake the Republicans made was going after President Clinton on a lie he told about a sexual relationship with a young woman … it started off with Paula Jones and ended up with Monica Lewinsky, but I think, you know, if you look at the polling data after the Republicans went after the president, his numbers just kept going up.” (RELATED: Sunny Hostin Argues That Clinton Was Impeached For Affair. He Wasn’t)
Additionally, many incoming freshmen Democratic lawmakers who flipped competitive Republican seats and did not run on impeaching the president also seem to want to stay clear of an impeachment fight.
This includes New Jersey Democratic Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew, who told The Associated Press that his constituents “don’t just want to see us argue and investigate and have hearings.”
Ultimately, although the Democrats only need a simple majority in the House to approve articles of impeachment, a two-thirds majority in the upper chamber is still required to remove a president and with a Republican majority in the Senate, this would be an unlikely event.