Trump and the Republicans have been complaining that there has been no formal vote on the impeachment investigation, but House Democrats are moving to change that.
House Democratic leaders are quietly reaching out to the most vulnerable members of their caucus to gauge whether they would support a formal vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, according to multiple Democratic aides.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s office is leading the outreach and the topic is expected to be discussed at a closed-door leadership meeting Tuesday evening .
Democratic leaders are “getting a read on where these members are following a two-week recess,” according to an aide familiar with the discussion.
The vote would undermine a key Republican talking point — that Democrats’ inquiry isn’t valid because they haven’t held a floor vote, as in past presidential impeachment proceedings.
The ideal outcome for Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats would be if they could formalize the impeachment investigation, but not jeopardize their most vulnerable freshmen members of the caucus. Trump is so unpopular that Democratic representatives in districts that the president carried in 2016 don’t necessarily need to worry about voting for the impeachment investigation.
When House Democrats decide to hold a vote to formalize the investigation, it will pass. They will have 218 votes. Republicans are dreaming if they believe that a vote will flip the House back to them in 2020.
House Democrats are closing all of Trump’s escape routes. The Republican defenses of Trump are being crushed to bits as the investigation cruises toward impeachment.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.