Axios: Pelosi believes impeachment is a “fool’s errand”


Maybe they’re just the fools to try it, though. Despite Robert Mueller’s poking and Donald Trump’s goading, Nancy Pelosi hasn’t changed her mind on impeachment. A “top ally” of the House Speaker told Axios that Pelosi considers it a “fool’s errand,” and that she won’t change her mind based on Mueller’s slightly extended remarks yesterday:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, brushing off new comments by Robert Mueller and 2020 Democratic hopefuls, feels as strongly as ever that impeaching President Trump would be a “fool’s errand,” a top ally told Axios.

Why it matters: Pelosi remains defiant, despite growing calls from fellow Democrats to plunge quickly into impeachment. …

Between the lines: People who know Pelosi well tell Axios’ Jonathan Swan that she, perhaps uniquely in the Democratic Party, has the power to withstand the growing momentum towards impeachment.

  • And they believe there’s no way House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose committee would handle impeachment, would defy her wishes — even if the chorus gets even louder, as long as she put her foot down.

Pelosi isn’t casting aside the possibility entirely, she told voters in San Francisco last night, but her reasons for delaying a decision won’t sound too promising for progressives:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler resisted pressure from the left to open an impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, following special counsel Robert Mueller’s announcement he’s closing his office and would not provide information beyond his already public report in any appearance before Congress.

Both Democratic leaders pledged to continue the House’s various investigations into alleged wrongdoing by President Donald Trump and maintained all options — including impeachment — remain on the table. But, Pelosi noted, only about 15% of House Democrats are “outspoken on impeachment” at this time. …

Despite these statements, Pelosi said she still thinks Mueller should testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

“I do think it would be important because the American people still have not seen an unredacted Mueller report,” Pelosi told reporters after a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco. “While he may have thought these were the priority points to make to the public, there may be questions relating to these facts that members of Congress will have, so I still hope that he would come before Congress.”

“We’re just not there yet,” Pelosi told the press in San Francisco. If that is Pelosi’s road map to impeachment, it’s safe to say that they’ll never get there at all. The American public will not get to see a fully unredacted Mueller report for years, because the redactions relate to national security concerns and to grand-jury testimony. It’s still a question as to whether all 535 member of Congress can ever access the fully unredacted version of the report, let alone the whole world.

Mueller’s testimony might be an even bigger obstacle. Mueller made it painfully clear yesterday that he won’t come voluntarily to testify in a public hearing, declaring that his report is his testimony. Presumably Mueller would respond to a subpoena, but Pelosi blanched at that idea, at least for now. She doesn’t seem too anxious to meet her own thresholds — because she knows that impeachment is a “fool’s errand,” a political and electoral dead end for Democrats who should be focusing more on the upcoming presidential election than undoing the previous one.

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