House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team is ramping up an effort to have her begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The speaker, a known impeachment skeptic, was in and out of meetings on the topic all Monday night, per a report from The Washington Post.
The increased push for an impeachment inquiry comes in light of the White House’s assertion that Donald McGahn, former White House counsel, is exempt from testimony on the Mueller report. He was scheduled to testify Tuesday morning, at 10 a.m. He did not show up for the testimony.
Representative Ted Deutch supports the movement to open the impeachment inquiry. “We should be having the conversation about … how this will help us break through the stonewalling of the administration,” he explained to WaPo.
Others agree—at least five different members of Pelosi’s leadership team encouraged her to open the inquiry in closed-door meetings. Four of these members come from the Judiciary Committee, which oversees impeachment inquiries.
Still, Pelosi refused to endorse the movement. An impeachment inquiry, her logic goes, would undermine the efforts of other House investigations and the Democrats’ legislative agenda.
Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island sees the movement differently. “It’s a fact-finding process,” he told WaPo, that would “strengthen the hand of Congress in forcing compliance with subpoenas.”
The movement to begin an inquiry stands as a direct result of the Trump administration’s repeated moves to block the investigation into the Mueller report. If cooperation is not an option, Deutch argues, “the only avenue we have left is the constitutional means to enforce the separation of powers, which is a serious discussion of impeachment.”
Other supporters of the impeachment movement suggest that opening the inquiry would effectively streamline the 20-plus investigations into the White House, permitting lawmakers to focus on the Democratic agenda. In their eyes, this option should effectively pacify Pelosi’s fears over an underperforming Congress.
At the time of this writing, Pelosi’s office has declined to comment publicly on the movement.
Find Paste’s take on how Pelosi is becoming increasingly isolated in her own party here.