Seven key allies for Pelosi on impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails Trump urges GOP to fight for him MORE is retaining allies in key corners of the Democratic caucus despite growing calls for impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails 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 LofgrenThis week: Tensions flare over Schiff, impeachment inquiry Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data House panel pushes forward election security legislation 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 NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday 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 CummingsDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe House rejects GOP measure censuring Schiff Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan 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 NealOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow House Democrats ask judge to dismiss Trump lawsuit over NY tax return law On The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax MORE (Mass.), Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails Trump urges GOP to fight for him House rejects GOP measure censuring Schiff MORE (Calif.) and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersHillicon Valley: Facebook removes Russian, Iranian accounts trying to interfere in 2020 | Zuckerberg on public relations blitz | Uncertainty over Huawei ban one month out Zuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets 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) KhannaCongress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Is Congress too afraid to fight Big Pharma? Democrats probing whether groups booked Trump hotel rooms to earn president's favor: report 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 JeffriesLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings House chairman: Pompeo not complying with impeachment inquiry Sunday shows - Second whistleblower grabs spotlight 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. GreenDemocrats need to abandon their impeachment inquisition Trump criticizes Clinton for suggesting Jill Stein was Russian asset Climate finance must push net-zero emissions 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 CrowCongress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision' Trump impeachment calls snowball, putting pressure on Pelosi MORE (Colo.) and Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinSinger Brandi Carlile drops out of Fortune event over Kirstjen Nielsen's appearance House Dems introduce bill to fight social media disinformation Polls flash warning signs for Trump on impeachment MORE (Mich.) stood beside him. “That remains the North Star for the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus.”

 

Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyOvernight Energy: Watchdog warns of threats to federal workers on public lands | Perry to step down on December 1 | Trump declines to appear in Weather Channel climate special Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry Trump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary 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 HillLawmakers beat reporters in annual spelling bee competition Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Polling director: Young voters swayed by health care, economy, gun control 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 PhillipsDemocrats lead Trump by wide margins in Minnesota Democrats eye Pompeo testimony The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to hit gas on impeachment 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 DingellPelosi focused on narrow impeachment probe on Ukraine: report Pelosi announces launch of formal impeachment inquiry into Trump More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump's dealings with Ukraine MORE (Mich.)

Dingell helps run House Democrats' messaging arm, which Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship FTC Democrat raises concerns that government is 'captured' by large tech companies Democrats want Mulvaney to testify in Trump impeachment probe 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.”