Who In The House Is Calling For Impeachment?

Jun 19, 2019
Originally published on August 22, 2019 5:53 pm

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Updated on Aug. 22 at 5:55 p.m. ET

In a symbolic milestone, a majority of House Democrats are now publicly backing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

More than 30 lawmakers have announced this position since former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House intelligence and judiciary committees in July.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., now stands apart from most of her caucus in opposing such a move, at least for now. She recently cited ongoing litigation as a reason she is not ready to advance an impeachment process.

"My position has always been: Whatever decision we made [regarding impeachment] would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts," Pelosi said during a news conference in July. "We have subpoenas in the courts. ... When we get that information we can make that judgment. ... This isn't endless, understand that. But we have live cases in the courts."

The passing of this threshold will put more pressure on Pelosi to take action, and it's notable that some of the newest public supporters of impeachment include close allies of the speaker's. The lawmakers who have announced their support for an impeachment inquiry in recent days include House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Ethics Committee Chair Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

Earlier this month, Pelosi released a statement touting the work various panels are doing to probe the administration, but the lengthy press release did not mention any movement on impeachment.

"To protect our democracy and our Constitution, Democrats in the Congress continue to legislate, investigate and litigate," Pelosi said.

The speaker has regularly stressed public sentiment as an important factor in deciding how to proceed.

But while a rush of lawmakers have come out to support impeachment following Mueller's testimony, national polling doesn't suggest that public opinion has shifted in the same way. A Politico/Morning Consult poll taken in the aftermath of the Mueller hearings found that just 37 percent of voters say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings.

Out of those dozens of Democrats who back impeachment, almost all share two important qualities: Their seats are safe in 2020, and they are not members of the House Democratic leadership team.

Pelosi, who has the most influential voice in the decision whether to move forward, has repeatedly stated that she is focused on public sentiment on the issue. She also stresses the need to focus on current congressional committee investigations into Trump before considering impeachment articles.

In June, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan became the only Republican to back launching an inquiry. On July 4, he declared his independence from the Republican Party but did not declare an affiliation with another party.

Of the lawmakers on record, some have stated outright that they support impeachment, while others specify that they support an impeachment inquiry. Both of those positions are noted as "for impeachment" in the graphics.

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Among the House Democrats who are most influential in this process — key committee chairs investigating the president and his aides, top leaders and, of course, the speaker herself — two have now signaled they favor impeaching the president.

Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been calling for impeachment since the early days of Trump's presidency; she wrote in a February 2017 tweet that her "greatest desire was to lead [Trump] right into impeachment."

Engel announced his support for an impeachment inquiry on July 30, saying Mueller's congressional testimony "provided ample evidence that the President committed obstruction of justice."


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NPR will continue to track where each member of the House of Representatives stands on impeachment proceedings. See something we missed? Email us at nprpolitics@npr.org.

: 8/21/19

In a previous version of this story, Rep. Ted Deutch's last name was incorrectly spelled Deutsch.

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