Seven key allies for Pelosi on impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Negotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference MORE is retaining allies in key corners of the Democratic caucus despite growing calls for impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation 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 LofgrenDemocrats accuse Barr of helping Trump distract from coronavirus State and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November FEC commissioner resigns, leaving agency without a quorum again 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 NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter 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 CummingsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden comes to Washington to honor John Lewis Lawmakers set for tearful goodbye to John Lewis We have 100 days to make our nation right 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 NealConservatives urge Trump to take unilateral action to suspend payroll tax collection Treasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility MORE (Mass.), Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package House Intelligence panel opens probe into DHS's involvement in response to protests MORE (Calif.) and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBill from Warren, Gillibrand and Waters would make Fed fight economic racial inequalities Waters rips Trump, GOP over mail-in ballots: 'They'll lie, cheat and steal to stay in power' CDC director says he wasn't involved in decision to reroute COVID-19 hospitalization data 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) KhannaSanders supporters launch six-figure ad campaign explaining why they're voting for Biden Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill 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 JeffriesJeffries on Senate coronavirus bill: 'Totally irrelevant' Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 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. GreenThe Memo: Trump's race tactics fall flat Trump administration ending support for 7 Texas testing sites as coronavirus cases spike The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Miami mayor worries about suicide and domestic violence rise; Trump-governor debate intensifies 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 CrowTrump-Afghan deal passes key deadline, but peace elusive Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats Congressional inconsistency continues regarding war powers MORE (Colo.) and Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinPaul Junge wins Michigan GOP primary to challenge Elissa Slotkin Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze House Democrat warns about 'inaccurate' polls: Trump voters 'fundamentally undercounted' MORE (Mich.) stood beside him. “That remains the North Star for the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus.”

 

Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency House committee requests hearing with postmaster general amid mail-in voting concerns GOP coronavirus bill includes .75 billion for construction of new FBI building 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 HillObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Republicans face worsening outlook in battle for House The Hill's Campaign Report: Cook shifts 20 House races toward Democrats 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 PhillipsLeaders call for civility after GOP lawmaker's verbal attack on Ocasio-Cortez House seeks ways to honor John Lewis Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats 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 DingellMichigan Rep. Debbie Dingell easily wins House primary Court orders release of Black Michigan teen who was jailed for missing schoolwork Lobbying world MORE (Mich.)

Dingell helps run House Democrats' messaging arm, which Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineFive takeaways from Big Tech's blowout earnings What factors will shape Big Tech regulation? Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence 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.”