Some Democrats Expect to Draft Articles of Impeachment After Return From Recess

September 4th 2019

#StoptheShutdown Press Conference with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer ( AFGE )

#StoptheShutdown Press Conference with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer (AFGE)

By Kerry Eleveld

Daily Kos

Soon. That's the word on producing articles of impeachment from several pro-impeachment House Democrats. Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth expects those articles to be drafted "before mid-October." 

“I don’t think there’s much doubt about that,” Yarmuth said in an interview with Politico. “I think Jerry’s committed to doing that, and I think, a significant majority of the committee is there,” he said, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and his committee members. Virginia Rep. Don Beyer said work on those articles would likely begin shortly after lawmakers return from recess next week, though he declined to be specific.

Despite the lack of specificity, the general message among pro-impeachment members is that clarity will soon be coming to a process that has been anything but clear. Since spring, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nadler have been giving mixed signals on impeachment, most likely because they're at odds over the matter themselves. Ultimately, Pelosi will have the final say, but Nadler, along with most of his committee, now has the support of a solid majority of the Democratic caucus.

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Some of that new support was driven by the discontent many Democratic lawmakers faced over the summer recess from their constituents, who wondered why Democrats hadn't held Trump accountable for his lawlessness and whether they ultimately would. The voters who showed up to cross-examine their representatives at town halls across the nation proved to be highly knowledgeable about both the political and the legal factors at play—a level of engagement that suggested more than a passive interest in the matter.

That voter engagement may have helped clarify for Democratic lawmakers what has proven to be a murky topic. Judiciary Democrats in particular appear anxious to bring some clarity to the debate. One Judiciary member, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, indicated that he wanted more than just transparency. He wanted action.

“I’m pleased that 135 @HouseDemocrats support an impeachment inquiry, but we're beyond the stage of simply having an inquiry," Cohen tweeted Monday. "There's no question [Trump's] violated the #Constitution & committed innumerable impeachable offenses and he should be impeached. It’s time for action."

The pro-impeachment wing of the Democratic caucus appears to be clearer than ever that it's time to fish or cut bait on impeachment this fall. How Pelosi and others in her leadership respond to that coordinated push and sense of urgency remains to be seen.

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