To impeach or not? That’s a question House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surely finds herself contemplating every day. While Pelosi has been trying to avoid impeaching President Donald Trump, fearing political backlash, momentum is building within her own party. Some 41 Democrats have come on record voicing support for impeachment. One Republican also crossed the aisle, expressing support for impeachment.
The 41 Democrats and 1 Republican have expressed support for an impeachment inquiry. Through this inquiry, the House would investigate whether President Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The one Republican supporting impeachment is Tea Party firebrand Justin Amash (Michigan). Among the many Democrats supporting impeachment are big names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Maxine Waters (California) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan). Still, many of the Democratic Party’s leaders have declined to support impeachment efforts and so far no other major Republicans have expressed support.
For Pelosi, impeachment is all about politics. With Republicans in control of the Senate and with many of them having already made it clear that they will side with President Trump, there’s almost no chance the president will actually be impeached. The most important question for Pelosi is what impact impeachment in the House would have on the 2020 election.
If Trump were to be impeached and then found not guilty by the Senate, it could give him extra ammunition as the 2020 Presidential race heats up. Likewise, impeachment would probably rally his base. Democrats were able to secure midterm victories largely because of voter turnout efforts and subdued support from Republicans. Rallying Trump’s base would carry huge political risks. For now, Pelosi appears to be more concerned about those risks rather than appeasing her base.