Seven key allies for Pelosi on impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE is retaining allies in key corners of the Democratic caucus despite growing calls for impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems 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 LofgrenKey House Republican demands answers on federal election security efforts Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress House fails to pass temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans 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 NadlerGOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death French officials call for investigation of Epstein 'links with France' 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 CummingsHouse committee heads demand Coast Guard Academy explain handling of harassment allegations Can the Democrats unseat Trump? Democrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report 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 NealTrump argues NY tax return case should take place in DC NY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (Mass.), Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Schiff offers bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (Calif.) and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersF-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever Banks give Congress, New York AG documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump: report Maxine Waters: Force us to ban assault weapons 'or kick our a--- out of Congress!' 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) KhannaKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks San Jose mayor proposes mandatory liability insurance for gun owners Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax 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 JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro 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. GreenDanish prime minister: Trump's idea to buy Greenland 'absurd'  Juan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts We need a climate plan for agriculture 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 CrowHouse Democrats request sit-down with McConnell to talk guns Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Democratic veteran lawmakers call for return of assault weapons ban MORE (Colo.) and Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinHouse Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death Hillicon Valley: Capital One faces investigation over massive breach | DHS warns of cyber vulnerability in small aircraft | Senate bill would ban 'addictive' social media features Democrats take another stab at preventing foreign election interference MORE (Mich.) stood beside him. “That remains the North Star for the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus.”

 

Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHistory in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp 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 HillAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump House Dems, Senate GOP build money edge to protect majorities Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy 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 PhillipsThis week: House Democrats voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt New CBO report fuels fight over minimum wage Unglamorous rules change helps a big bill pass 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 DingellGun reform groups to pressure GOP senators with rallies in all 50 states Automakers rebuff Trump, strike fuel efficiency deal with California Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (Mich.)

Dingell helps run House Democrats' messaging arm, which Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineFirst House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons Hillicon Valley: O'Rourke proposal targets tech's legal shield | Dem wants public review of FCC agreement with T-Mobile, Sprint | Voters zero in on cybersecurity | Instagram to let users flag misinformation Democrat calls for public review of T-Mobile-Sprint merger agreement 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.”