Wondering whether or not Democratic leadership will ever take meaningful steps toward impeaching the president is not a pastime I would personally recommend, yet here we are. Still wondering. Today, however, Rep. Jerry Nadler said this, which makes me think: hey, maybe!
Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says that the House is the “only institution of the federal government that can now hold President Trump accountable for his actions,” because of the Justice Department’s opinion that a sitting president can’t be indicted.
That certainly seems to be the case. The Mitch McConnell-led Senate has, of course, shown no interest in pursuing this, and nearly 100 House Democrats have come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry. On Friday, freshman Rep. Mike Levin, who represents a swing district in California, joined them.
What Nadler specifically wants is access to evidence gathered by the secret grand jury used during Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has yet to be released to the House Judiciary committee or to anyone, really. (Politico notes that Nadler is not seeking public release of this information.)
Nadler has been more open to impeachment than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and appears to be chafing at the bit a little to move forward. In a press conference this morning, Pelosi said that outspoken members of her caucus’s calls for impeachment “gave her leverage,” but also reiterated her general message of “not yet.”
In other words... hey, maybe!
The takeaway here is that it’s great if Nadler feels like he’s in a good place to win a court battle over the sealed grand jury evidence. The hope then is that whatever’s inside is good enough for Pelosi, and that something then actually happens. I also would not recommend holding your breath.