Democrats are already in disarray less than a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an “official” impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Moderate Democrats who came out in support of impeachment and put their careers on the line are now questioning what is new or different from before.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), one of the House’s most vulnerable Democrats, came out with six other moderate colleagues on Monday evening to back an impeachment inquiry in an op-ed that was seen as a watershed moment in impeachment efforts.
But after a Democrat caucus meeting with Pelosi Tuesday afternoon, Slotkin reportedly said to Democrat colleagues: “If you are asking us to stay on message, give us a g-ddamn message to stay on.”
“We came out [in favor of an impeachment inquiry] because this is something different, this meeting did not give me confidence that this will be something different,” she said.
Pelosi speaking. Meanwhile some Dems are not happy about what they heard and are speaking out in the caucus.
“If you are asking us to stay on message, give us a goddamn message to stay on,” Rep. Slotkin said.
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) September 24, 2019
Pelosi announced Wednesday the House was conducting an “official impeachment inquiry” and the various committee chairmen investigating the president should proceed with that understanding.
Other vulnerable Democrats also appear to be having second thoughts.
According to Politico on Tuesday:
Another first-term Democrat, Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, raised a similar sentiment about Democrats losing focus on what led the party to this moment, after Pelosi and other key chairmen outlined a multi-step plan for their impeachment inquiry involving the six committees investigating Trump.
Several moderates are also privately worried about members of their caucus going too far, with some progressives declaring prematurely that Democrats are ready to imminently impeach Trump.
Impeachment is not popular with the general electorate or independents, according to recent polls.
Their fears could be heightened after Trump released the transcript of the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was the main impetus for the calls for impeachment.
Reports about the call suggested that Trump had offered Ukraine military aid in exchange for investigating Joe Biden’s son.
However, the call transcript showed that there was no such quid pro quo. The two leaders discussed how the U.S. was helping Ukraine with military aid more than Germany and the European Union.
Trump asked if Zelensky could help him get to the bottom of the whole Russian collusion allegations, which he suggested may have started in Ukraine. Zelensky then brought up that one of his assistants recently spoke to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is investigating Joe Biden’s son’s dealings in Ukraine.
Trump’s remarks about Biden’s son were in its entirety: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”
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