The vote allows members to show the impeachment-eager base they are moving forward. But the push has also rattled some Democrats from more moderate districts.
“It’s sucking the air out of all of the good stuff we’re doing,” Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., who flipped her seat from Republican control last year, said Wednesday.
But Nadler has sought to clear the air on what his committee is actually doing, amid widespread confusion. Nadler said Thursday the panel is “engaged in an investigation as to whether to launch an impeachment investigation into President Trump.”
Nadler had previously said House Democrats are pursuing an impeachment inquiry, a remark subsequently contradicted by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Hoyer later released a statement saying he had misunderstood the question and that he supports Nadler.
In his opening statement Thursday, Nadler said: “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry, some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature.”
Nadler says the resolution at issue allows him to determine if various hearings are part of any impeachment probe, allows counsel to question witnesses at those hearings, gives the committee access to documents in executive sessions, and gives the president due process. He said that formalizing the inquest “enables us to move more effectively and quickly.”
Broadly speaking, it represents another step by Democrats toward impeachment proceedings in the wake of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. While Mueller’s team drew a blank on evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in 2016 — the initial basis for the probe — Democrats then turned to other issues including Trump’s finances and alleged obstruction of justice.
But Republicans brushed off the meeting Thursday, arguing that Democrats are all bark but no bite on the subject of impeachment, making a fuss about “a simple procedure issue.” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., compared the Democrats’ move Thursday to a “giant Instagram filter to make you appear that something’s happening that’s not.”
“The difference between formal impeachment proceedings and what we’re doing today is a world apart no matter what the chairman just said,” he said.
Later on, he got his social media brands mixed up, and when corrected, yelled: “Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter it doesn’t matter, we’re not in an impeachment inquiry!”
Collins claimed that the rules could have been handled “five minutes” before an actual hearing, and said it showed how out of step House Democrats are with their colleagues, and the public.
“All along they thought people were coming along with them and that the public was happy with this and other members of their own party were happy with this but somewhere down the yellow brick road they looked around and said ‘there’s not all of us here, people aren’t following anymore,’” he said.
Collins was referring to an increasingly vocal group of Democrats unhappy at the impeachment focus — fearing it is a politically futile move and is distracting from kitchen-table issues of greater concern to voters.
We were going to impeach Trump because he’s a traitor, because he colluded with Russia, and it just didn’t happen.
OK, how about Stormy Daniels? Trump slept with a porn star, and we’re going to impeach him for that.
Then it was his finances.
Then it was back to Russia again.
Then it was racism. He called neo-Nazis very fine people, except then you look at the tape and he didn’t call neo-Nazis very fine people. He clearly condemned them.
Dems are hating on Pres Trump so much they are living in a fantasy world.
Now they add to these fantasies the idea that we can tax the rich until all our people (citizens or not) have a “living income stream.”
Dems also imagine that taxes can change the climate (they don’t say to what.
They insist YOU quit your cars, your air travel, your home in the country or even the suburbs ….all to save the planet.
They want to grab your guns, too.
ALL of that is pure fantasy.
None of it could ever be either enacted or enforced.
Dems have jumped the shark.
Clap your hands Democrats, bring Tinkerbelle back to life after she drank poison for Peter Pan.
Oh… and that would be WHAT exactly? The false hope of impeaching Trump out of office and miraculously taking power is ALL Democrats have to hope for. The idiots they have for candidates? The strongest among them is a moron.
Democrats are like moderate Muslims who have come to power by invoking radical Islam to demonize their enemies; when they HAVE power, they find it difficult to control the monster they have created. Likewise, they’ve led constituents to believe impeachment is a possible option, though they have yet to identify an impeachable offense committed (“you hurt my feelings, you meanie” is neither a high crime or misdemeanor).
Trump has been thoroughly investigated for over three years, including the use of illegal surveillance and spying. Why is “investigation” needed? If you can’t find anything with all that effort, what do you EXPECT to find? Well… nothing. They know there’s nothing.
Basically, they are stalling, dragging this out until the election like they tried to do with Mueller’s witch hunt. They have no more intention of actually proceeding with impeachment than they have to secure the border. Poor, stupid, naive idiots that buy into their games.
Trump should be impeached as a first step toward reestablishing the integrity of the Office of President and reaffirming the constitutional balance of power between an individual president and the people’s Congress, but Pelosi is a pragmatist. She realizes it will be a pointless exercise when 95 percent of Congressional republicans don’t have the courage to take a stand against the single most corrupt, lying, amoral, and opportunistic conman ever to have lied his way into the oval office.
Trump has effectively misused his powers of office to nullify congressional oversight powers and to retaliate against critics and enemies. (Witness his use of the DoJ to pursue his vindictive personal vendetta against Andrew McCabe.) The best remedy for his behavior will be the 2020 election, while pointing out and thwarting his every unethical play and move between now and then.
We can expect from Trump the use of any and every underhanded, unethical tactic, legal or otherwise, that might serve to keep him in office, because holding that office is the primary shield that protects him from exposure in any number of courtrooms. If he eventually finds himself in that situation, it will all be his own doing.
@Greg: Democrats are DESTROYING the integrity of Congress. They are putting a police state in place; abusing laws to pursue a political agenda. Trump has committed NO crimes, as is proved by the empty bag you’ve all come up with after over three years of illegal surveillance, spying, multiple investigations and non-stop lying.
There’s been no “oversight”; just a weak, bungled attempt to construct a case around flimsy allegations. We now know the FBI KNEW the Steele information was worthless; it was nothing but a pretext to spy on Trump and his campaign. And NOTHING was found. NOTHING.
Go right ahead… IMPEACH. They are digging their own political graves and I would LOVE to kick some of the dirt into the holes… after I take a good, long piss on them.
I hope this backfires of those Dirty Democrats they deserve to lose big in next years election
why don’t you squat with the squad? a good bowl evacuation would remove all brain cells in your head. only then would you be ready to take your place with the squad. suggest your read Mike Lee’s work Our Lost Declaration. he discusses people like you. you would have made a great adviser to king james III.
Yeah, congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Mao Zedong’s communist dictatorship, which was originally celebrated with the mass executions of a million or so Chinese landowners, some of whom were simply buried alive. We brought you a little gift in honor of the occasion.
That’s right up there with scheduling secret Camp David talks with the Taliban on the anniversary of 9/11. Sorry, but this totally clueless nincompoop just isn’t my kind of American president.
@Greg: You really don’t understand about negotiating from a position of strength, do you? You only understand the method of begging terrorists to allow us to pay them billions of dollars to accept their terms.
@Deplorable Me: Gregs kind of President allows china to produce parts for our military, steal intellectual property and sends top secret emails to them in real time.
a copy of America’s F-22
J-31 looks like, and may even fly like, our F-35
OK, fair enough, but that isn’t reason enough to impeach Trump, is it, now? The standard is “high crimes and misdemeanors”, not “Orange Man Bad!!”