Good News (Hopefully) for Impeachment Supporters

Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a member of the House Democratic leadership and a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, has officially called for an impeachment inquiry.

Felicia Sonmez at the Washington Post reports:
[Rep. Schakowsky] is calling for an impeachment inquiry into [Donald] Trump, arguing that doing so will allow lawmakers to obtain more evidence of the president's alleged misconduct.

The move is likely to put greater pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has repeatedly rebuffed calls from members of her caucus to open such an inquiry.

"Today, I am announcing that I believe that the House of Representatives should begin an impeachment inquiry, officially, because [Donald] Trump certainly has committed all kinds of offenses that meet the standard of impeachment, high crimes, and misdemeanors," Schakowsky said in a video posted on her official website late Wednesday.

The Illinois Democrat, who is a senior chief deputy whip and a close Pelosi ally, said that she has "felt really from Day One — from the time that Donald Trump raised his hand and took the oath of office — that he had already violated the emoluments clause," a constitutional provision banning the acceptance of gifts or payments from foreign governments without congressional approval.

She added that she had read special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report "from beginning to end" and that there are "many, many examples of the president obstructing justice."

While House Democratic leadership has "done a good job" investigating Trump and his administration, it is necessary to take things to the next step to obtain more evidence, Schakowsky argued.

"Instituting the impeachment inquiry will actually enable us to get more information, more documents, have the force of the Constitution behind us to get even more evidence of the president's deserving to be impeached," she said.
So, one of two things is happening here. Either:

1. Schakowsky is breaking with Pelosi to put pressure on her, knowing that her position and relationship with Pelosi carries an enormous amount of weight and will get attention in the press (precisely as it has).

2. Schakowsky is playing a role designed for her by Pelosi, who is carefully building a public case for impeachment before she launches the inquiry.

I honestly don't care which it is. Either way, this is good news for those of us who support impeaching Donald Trump. In one case, Pelosi's own caucus is starting to visibly push back which will eventually force her hand; in the other case, Pelosi has a strategy the objective of which is impeachment.

In either scenario, it's telling that Schakowsky is making her case using both partisan Democrats' talking point about the plentiful examples of obstruction in the Mueller report and the argument favored by wonky progressives and other Trump critics regarding the enhanced investigatory powers conferred by an impeachment inquiry.

I feel hesitantly hopeful that we may be nearing an impeachment inquiry, while I also recognize the possibility that Schakowsky's video is designed precisely to generate that (false) hope. It certainly wouldn't be the first time we were enticed to believe that a salvation was coming when it manifestly wasn't. The difference between this situation and the Mueller report, however, is that Congress is empowered to take action itself, with an attendant public expectation that it will when circumstances demand it.

Here's hoping that this means what it suggests, and that we get there quickly. The clock is striking thirteen already.

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