Dems Have Concerns With Impeaching President Trump


Dems grapple with impeachment realities in race to punish Trump

Several top Democrats raised concerns that Joe Biden’s early presidential agenda could be delayed for weeks by a Senate trial.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior Democrats are still weighing whether to impeach President Donald Trump next week, concerned that the resulting Senate trial — all but certain to end in acquittal — would hamstring the first critical weeks of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Pelosi and her leadership team discussed several options for holding Trump accountable for inciting a deadly riot at the Capitol during a two-hour call Saturday night. Several top Democrats, including House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn — a close Biden ally — raised concerns that any effort to quickly confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees or pass a major coronavirus relief package would be delayed for weeks by a Senate impeachment trial.

Democrats were not taking impeachment off the table, but the leadership team spent Saturday night batting around several potential scenarios for the coming days, including impeaching Trump in the House midweek but not immediately sending the article of impeachment to the Senate, which would initiate an immediate trial. Pelosi took similar steps after Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

The party’s dilemma is that while the vast majority of Democrats are prepared to vote next week to remove Trump from office, key parts of the caucus have also become acutely aware that impeachment would pose complications for Democrats’ agenda. But failing to take action is also not an option, with furious lawmakers eager to exact punishment for the president’s role in the attacks on the Capitol on Wednesday, which resulted in five deaths.

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