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Seven key allies for Pelosi on impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE is retaining allies in key corners of the Democratic caucus despite growing calls for impeaching President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE.

The number of Democrats endorsing an impeachment inquiry more than doubled in the past week, including members of the House Judiciary Committee. But others, representing important caucus factions, are siding with the Speaker's methodical approach.

Here's a look at the key House Democrats who are helping Pelosi hold the line on impeachment.

 

Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup Pelosi floats Democrat-led investigation of Jan. 6 as commission alternative Democrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe MORE (Calif.)

Lofgren is the second-most senior member of the House Judiciary Committee to live through not just one, but two past impeachment inquiries. She was a staffer during the Nixon years and a member during the Clinton impeachment.

Lofgren also previously challenged House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation Senate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Black Democrats press leaders for reparations vote this month MORE (D-N.Y.) for the top spot when it came up for grabs in 2017. While Nadler pushed Democratic leaders in a private meeting to pursue an impeachment inquiry, Lofgren stood up in a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting two days later to push back.

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"Unless we want to have no process whatsoever, which cannot be the case for impeachment, we are going to have to go court, get the subpoenas enforced, get the evidence, get the facts for it and then we will see where we are. I think this just muddies the issue and damages us in many ways as premature," Lofgren warned, according to a source who took notes in the meeting.

 

Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDemocrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe Lawmakers press AbbVie CEO on increased US prices of two drugs Overnight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August MORE (Md.)

Cummings is a central figure in Democrats' investigations as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. And the party's rank-and-file are watching him closely for cues.

Pelosi deployed Cummings, as well as other top committee leaders like Nadler, Ways and Means Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Republicans open new line of attack on IRS Ireland, loved by Biden, is obstacle to tax deal MORE (Mass.), Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocratic lawmakers not initially targeted in Trump DOJ leak probe: report Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Schiff calls Iranian presidential election 'predetermined' MORE (Calif.) and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMaxine Waters: Trump, campaign should be investigated for any Jan. 6 role The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Tulsa marks race massacre centennial as US grapples with racial injustice MORE (Calif.) during a closed-door meeting this week to give members an overview of their oversight efforts.

Waters, notably, broke with the other committee chairs and reiterated her personal support for impeachment, saying Congress had a “responsibility” to provide a check on the president. But Cummings expressed confidence that Democrats would find success in the courts, citing two favorable rulings in recent days upholding their requests for documents. “I think the courts are saying that we are going to uphold the rule of law,” Cummings told reporters, adding that he’s urging colleagues when they speak to constituents to refer to those rulings. “We've now got two opinions.”

 

Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup Democrats fear they are running out of time on Biden agenda Public option fades with little outcry from progressives MORE (Calif.)

Khanna helped throw Pelosi a lifeline multiple times in recent days even as a string of fellow progressives rushed to endorse starting an impeachment inquiry.

Khanna, who also sits on the Oversight Committee, told Hill.TV that “I'm not there yet. I believe that we need to be methodical, we need to make a case.”

In private, Khanna spoke up during the Democratic caucus meeting to back Pelosi’s position. “My deep fear is, that if we impeach this President, it's going to further tear this country apart, and not let my generation work towards healing the country, something that [former President] Obama did, and that's why I support your views,” Khanna said in remarks addressed to Pelosi, according to a source in the room.

 

Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesPelosi challenges Democrats on economic messaging The antitrust package is a Trojan horse conservatives must reject Democrats seek staffer salary boost to compete with K Street MORE (N.Y.)

Jeffries, the Democratic caucus chairman, is considered a rising star in the leadership and also sits on the Judiciary Committee.

Jeffries has backed staying the current course despite some fellow Judiciary Committee members jumping on the impeachment train. He’s also one of the only top Pelosi allies tamping down impeachment who actually voted in favor of it in the past. Jeffries supported articles of impeachment from Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenManchin meets with Texas lawmakers on voting rights Lawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats Bipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures MORE (D-Texas) on the House floor in January 2018.

“It's clear to anybody who's paying attention, we are in the majority because of two great members like Jason and Elissa and so many others who did not run in on impeachment, did not run on collusion, did not run on obstruction of justice, but ran on making life better for everyday Americans,” Jeffries said at his weekly press conference as swing-district freshman Reps. Jason CrowJason CrowOvernight Defense: Biden, Putin agree to launch arms control talks at summit | 2002 war authorization repeal will get Senate vote | GOP rep warns Biden 'blood with be on his hands' without Afghan interpreter evacuation GOP rep: If Biden doesn't evacuate Afghan interpreters, 'blood will be on his hands' Pelosi floats Democrat-led investigation of Jan. 6 as commission alternative MORE (Colo.) and Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinExclusive: Conservative group targets vulnerable Democrats over abortion Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat Democrats seize on GOP opposition to Jan. 6 commission MORE (Mich.) stood beside him. “That remains the North Star for the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus.”

 

Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe Tlaib, Democrats slam GOP calls for border oversight to fight opioid crisis Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (Va.)

Democratic leadership’s efforts to lower the temperature on impeachment are surely helped by Connolly, a member of the Oversight Committee who routinely appears on television and holds court with reporters in the halls of the Capitol.

Connolly represents a safe blue district in the northern Virginia suburbs just outside of Washington where a minority voted for Trump in 2016, but he isn’t ready to launch an impeachment inquiry.

“I think that has a precedent that troubles me, because I don't think we need to go to a court and say, well, we're going to launch an impeachment investigation that justifies this inquiry,” Connolly told PBS Newshour. Yet Connolly acknowledged that the investigations “may yet lead to an impeachment inquiry because of the facts we uncover. I think we're very close there now. And I think the president is making it a lot harder for those of us who are trying not to cross that line just yet.”

 

Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillKatie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (Calif.)

Hill is a swing-district freshman who sits on the Oversight panel. This week, she argued that launching an "impeachment inquiry" as a legal strategy runs the risk of leading people to believe Democrats are about to vote to impeach Trump.

“I actually think part of the hesitation around doing an impeachment inquiry is that we're already doing this work. We're already doing the job of exposing this to the American people. Does the impeachment inquiry give us any additional leverage in the courts? Not really,” Hill told reporters. “This is why we have to proceed with caution.”

At the same time, Hill acknowledged that she's seen a spike in constituent calls to her office this week urging impeachment. “It's certainly a factor, because it used to be the other way around. We used to have more people saying, 'Don't impeach,’” Hill said.

Other swing-district Democrats are similarly cautious when it comes to impeachment. Fellow freshman Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Democrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Minn.) cited polls showing that the majority of Americans aren’t on board with impeachment. “I'm simply not there yet,” Phillips told MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.” “I want to be cautious and methodical.”

 

Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics as study finds them prevalent Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover MORE (Mich.)

Dingell helps run House Democrats' messaging arm, which Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup America's drug rebate system is broken Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation MORE (R.I.) -- a recent impeachment defector -- chairs. Dingell, who’s also a Progressive Caucus vice chair, maintained that Democrats need to stay focused on the policy issues they ran on instead of dividing the country with impeachment. “We gotta lay the groundwork, we gotta do oversight, remember that no one’s above the law, but also do the work that the American people expect us to do,” Dingell told reporters.

And after Trump demanded that Democrats drop their investigations before working on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Dingell suggested that launching impeachment would only make things worse. "I'm been somebody that's strongly supportive of where Nancy Pelosi has been," Dingell told Fox News's "Outnumbered Overtime." "I think that a divided impeachment would tear this country apart.”