Nobody Knows What's Going on With the Whole Impeachment Thing

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite (AP)

President Donald Trump is many things: a soft-brained goofus, a venomous and unrepentant racist, an inept leader. But if you were to ask if he is currently facing impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives, the answer is...complicated.

To prove my point, here are three statements from three different House Democrats, collected on Tuesday by Politico:

“We have been in the midst of an impeachment investigation,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a member of the Judiciary Committee.

“No, we’re not in an impeachment investigation,” said a second lawmaker, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

A third, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said the House is investigating to determine “whether or not there should be an impeachment investigation.”

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Like Erwin Schrödinger’s cat, the status of Trump’s sort-of-maybe-kind-of impeachment investigation seems entirely dependent upon who is peeking into this cursed congressional box at any given time.

On one hand, this latest bout of linguistic obfuscation around what, exactly, House Democrats are doing is part of a well-established pattern of Speaker Nancy Pelosi moving very slowly, very reluctantly toward impeachment proceedings without actually uttering that dreaded word.

The risk involved for Democrats in not actually stating in a single voice that, yes, we’re impeaching Trump, is pretty obvious: The public is left with the impression that House Dems can’t—or won’t—get on the same page, and everyone stays as confused as ever. This, in turn, result in some pretty serious political whiplash if we actually get to the point where official, honest to god, all-together-now impeachment effort takes hold. After all, how can House Democrats be trusted to stick the landing on impeachment proceedings if they’ve spent the past few months disagreeing about what the hell they’ve been doing this whole time to begin with?

C’mon folks, get it together. Impeach or get off the pot. This is getting ridiculous.

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About the author

Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.