Lack of Electricity in Mueller Testimony Short-Circuits Impeachment – The New York Times

The reason some Republican support was critical was that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has shown real reluctance to pursue impeachment, has consistently said that she would allow the House to take it up only if there was bipartisan sentiment to open an inquiry. “Bipartisan” in that sense doesn’t mean most Republicans would have to be on board, but at least a few public backers would be required to give a bipartisan veneer to the highly charged proceedings.

Absolutely none surfaced after the hearings.

The speaker made clear that she thought the best course for Democrats at the moment would be legal challenges to the president and his administration.

“My position has always been whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts,” Ms. Pelosi said after the back-to-back hearings. “It’s about the Congress, the Constitution and the courts. And we are fighting the president in the courts.”

Revelations of impeachable conduct in a legal proceeding could still be a game changer for Democrats if evidence surfaced that forced Ms. Pelosi’s hand and made a decision to impeach the president unavoidable. Mr. Mueller also made it clear in his bare-bones testimony that Mr. Trump had been “generally” untruthful with him and had committed other acts that no doubt would have led to congressional action against other presidents.

After all, the only elected president to be impeached, Mr. Clinton, was rung up by a House under control of the opposite party for lying under oath about sex, not about his campaign’s contacts with a hostile foreign power seeking to influence an election.

But the majority of House Democrats remain on the fence about impeachment — they last week split 137 to 95 against a symbolic impeachment vote. Following the Mueller testimony, just one Democrat, Representative Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, immediately joined the call for at least beginning an impeachment inquiry, hardly the flood pro-impeachment lawmakers had hoped would be spurred by Mr. Mueller.

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