Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said again on Friday that when it comes to the impeachment of Donald Trump, “we will proceed when we have what we need to proceed — not one day sooner.”
However, one member of the House Judiciary Committee said that the committee itself may simply proceed with impeachment on its own, without waiting for Pelosi’s seal of approval, according to a report by The Washington Post.
“The Constitution leaves it up to Congress how to structure impeachment proceedings,” Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin told The Post. “There are many different ways to get there. It can arise from floor action. It can arise within the Judiciary Committee itself.”
Raskin went on tell Post columnist Greg Sargent that he believes the Judiciary Committee will take the initiative to draw up articles of impeachment against Trump.
“The question is just when,” he said.
Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler said at a press conference on Friday that his committee’s continuing investigation of Trump is “in effect” already as an impeachment inquiry, according to Roll Call. He added that in a formal impeachment proceeding, the committee’s investigation would be confined only to impeachable offenses, but currently, “we’re not limited to that,” Nadler told reporters at the Capitol on Friday morning.
Another committee member, Eric Swalwell of California, also said at the committee’s press conference, “This is an impeachment investigation,” as quoted by Roll Call.
Friday was the final day of work for Congress on Capitol Hill before starting a six-week “recess,” though many members left Washington D.C. on Thursday, a day early, according to The Hill. Congress is scheduled to return for the Fall legislative session on September 9 — a date that could prove highly significant to the impeachment process, according to one member.
“That’s when I predict solid majority of Dem caucus will publicly support impeachment inquiry – a tipping point,” wrote California Democratic rep Jared Huffman on his Twitter account.
Huffman said that he expected that members of Congress would feel pressure to impeach Trump from constituents during the town hall meetings and forums that traditionally dominate the August recess period.
In fact, two lawyers currently working for the House Judiciary have already prepared a case against Trump, presented in a Brookings Institute report titled, Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump. Two of the report’s three authors, Barry H. Berke and Norman L. Eisen, who wrote the Brookings report along with Noah Bookbinder — Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — currently work for or consult with the Judiciary Committee.
“The overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing supports and demands an impeachment inquiry,” Bookbinder wrote on his Twitter feed Friday morning.