Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Democrat slated to take over the House Judiciary Committee in January, warned that if Democrats impeach President Donald Trump before there is sufficient evidence of “huge misdeeds,” it would “tear up the country for the next thirty years.”
When CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed Nadler on impeachment, he admitted, “That’s far down the road, if it happens at all.” He emphasized the importance of the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but insisted that it is far too early to discuss impeaching Trump.
“Most of us think — I certainly think — that Trump is about as horrible a president as you can imagine, but that doesn’t mean he should be impeached,” Nadler argued.
The Democrat laid out three tests for impeachment: “One, you have to show that impeachable offenses have been committed, which does not necessarily mean crimes — those are separate issues. Two, you have to show that the impeachable offenses rose to the gravity where it threatens the integrity of republican and democratic institutions, threatens the safety of a democratic society. And three, because you don’t want a situation where you tear up the country for the next thirty years, where half the country is saying, ‘We won the election, you stole it.'”
Nadler argued that Democrats should restrain themselves from pushing impeachment until “the evidence is so stark of misdeeds so huge, that when all of this is laid out publicly, an appreciable fraction of the people who voted for Trump will admit … ‘You had to do this.'”
The soon-to-be House Judiciary Committee chairman is likely correct. While Democrats loathe Trump, impeaching him without sufficient evidence — and as yet no such evidence has been revealed — would likely worsen America’s divisive tribalism. Furthermore, Trump’s impeachment would lead to President Mike Pence — a situation most Democrats would like to avoid (although many conservatives would take solace in it).
It seems unlikely the radical wing of the party will listen to Nadler, however. Partisans like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) have been demanding impeachment for years, and will stop at nothing. With House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in charge, however, impeachment likely will not reach the House floor. Democrats would have to unseat Pelosi — and convince holdouts like Nadler — if they ever want to impeach Trump any time soon.
This reticence will only further embolden the radical progressives, however. Once again, it seems America’s partisan rancor is only going to get worse in the near future.
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