Despite Democrats’ like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and Elizabeth Warren’s insistence that Democrats’ are duty-bound to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump, party leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have made it clear that, ultimately, whether they decide to impeach Trump or not will be a political calculation. Notably, Pelosi’s shift toward signaling an openness to impeachment coincided with polling data indicating that public support for such a move had increased.
On Sunday, Majority Whip James Clyburn became the latest member of the Democratic Party’s leadership to confirm that the party is simply waiting for polling data to indicate that a majority of the public supports impeachment – something that, in all likelihood, won’t happen – before moving ahead with their plans.
During an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, said he believed that the Democrats would vote to impeach Trump “at some point,” but that Democrats must first succeed in building a case for impeachment and selling it to the public.
“What Nancy Pelosi is trying to do, and the rest of us in the House of Representatives, is developing a process to efficiently move on this issue so when we get to the vote, something she calls iron clad I call effective, that is why we are trying to take our time and do this right,” Clyburn said.
He added that House Democrats are not “particularly interested in the Senate,” but rather are waiting to “bring the public along.
“We do believe if we efficiently and effectively educate the public then we would have done our job and we can move on an impeachment vote,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn said that Mueller “has developed the grounds for impeachment,” but “the House has to determine the timing for impeachment, there’s a big difference.”
.@JakeTapper: “It sounds like you think that the President will be impeached, or at least proceedings will begin in the House at some point, but just not right now?"@WhipClyburn: "Yes, that's exactly what I feel." https://t.co/Y0gTFkzqeM #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/LPvGXjuzc0
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 2, 2019
In other words: Impeachment was never about what’s right, or what’s legal – it’s about what’s politically feasible. Don’t forget that.