Im­peach­ing Trump not on House Democrats’ to-do list – for now

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Obituaries - BY LISA MASCARO AND MARY CLARE JALONICK

What­ever hap­pened to try­ing to im­peach Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump?

As House Democrats be­gin lay­ing out the vi­sion for their new ma­jor­ity, that item is no­tice­ably miss­ing from the to-do list and firmly on the mar­gins.

The agenda for now in­cludes spend­ing on pub­lic-works projects, low­er­ing health-care costs and in­creas­ing over­sight of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

It’s the bal­ance that Demo­cratic leader Nancy Pelosi is try­ing to strike in the new Congress be­tween those on her party’s left flank who are ea­ger to con­front the pres­i­dent, and her in­stinct to pri­or­i­tize the kitchen-ta­ble prom­ises that Democrats made to vot­ers who elected them to of­fice.

“We shouldn’t im­peach the pres­i­dent for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons and we shouldn’t not im­peach the pres­i­dent for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons,” Pelosi re­cently told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The Cal­i­for­nia law­maker, who hopes to lead Democrats as House speaker come Jan­uary, calls im­peach­ment a “divi- sive ac­tiv­ity” that needs to be ap­proached with bi­par­ti­san­ship. “If the case is there, then that should be self-ev­i­dent to Democrats and Repub­li­cans,” she said.

Those press­ing for im­peach­ment ac­knowl­edge they don’t ex­pect ac­tion on Day One of the new ma­jor­ity, but they do want to see Democrats start lay­ing the ground­work for pro­ceed­ings.

“We’re for im­peach­ment. We’re not for getsworn-in-on-Jan.-1-and­start-tak­ing-votes,” said Kevin Mack, the lead strate­gist for bil­lion­aire Tom Steyer’s Need to Im­peach cam­paign. “Our ar­gu­ment is the Con­sti­tu­tion out­lines a process to re­move a law­less pres­i­dent.”

In a new ad, Steyer says Democrats “just need the will” to act. He says he’s call­ing on Amer­i­cans to join the 6 mil­lion who have al­ready signed on to his group to “give Congress the courage to act.”

“The Amer­i­can peo­ple are tired of be­ing told to wait,” Mack said. “Our ar­gu­ment to Congress is you are a co-equal branch of gov­ern­ment. It’s time to do what is mo­rally cor­rect.”

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