There is no greater example of the divide among Democrats right now than the debate over whether or not to try and impeach President Trump over allegations that he obstructed, or attempted to obstruct, the Mueller investigation.
While some Democrats such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC) had been frothing at the mouth to launch lengthy impeachment proceedings that would drag out embarrassing details in front of the American public, establishment Democrats - following Pelosi's lead - have strongly rejected calls to impeach on the basis that the Republican-led Senate would reject the process and "exonerate" Trump, giving him a boost going into 2020.
On Wednesday, Pelosi acknowledged that Democrats calling for impeachment are bringing 'vital energy' to the party's oversight efforts, while attempting to downplay the divide over what to do.
"I see in some metropolitan journals, and on some TV, that we are trying to find our way or are unsure about [our direction]," said Pelosi. "Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we're on. We know exactly what actions we need to take. And while that may take more time than some people want it to take, I respect their impatience."
Speaker Pelosi on impeachment: "Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we're on. We know exactly what actions we need to take. And while that may take more time than some people want it to take, I respect their impatience." https://t.co/9G7KaACD9D pic.twitter.com/eBe4J3KKv3— The Hill (@thehill) June 5, 2019
Pelosi also noted that impeachment doesn't mean that Trump would automatically be removed from office.
Speaker Pelosi on the concept of impeachment, and what she says many in the public think happens with impeachment: "They think that you get impeached -- you're gone -- and that is completely not true." pic.twitter.com/Yyc9URNdRy— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) June 5, 2019
At least 55 House Democrats are on record endorsing an impeachment inquiry, according to The Hill.
Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff - who swore up and down that he had evidence of Trump-Russia collusion that was "more than circumstantial" - effectively threw cold water on impeachment, telling The Hill last week "Where it ends I don't know," adding "I presume it ends with Donald Trump being voted out of office."
Even House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) - who is aggressively pursuing all things Trump with his own post-Mueller investigation - told WNYC on Friday that while there is justification for impeachment, "you cannot impeach a president if the American people will not support it."
In the latest appeal to stop talk of impeachment, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle penned an Op-Ed in the Washington Post titled: "Listen to Pelosi, Democrats. Now’s not the time to impeach Trump."
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, has resisted the growing calls for Trump’s impeachment coming from within her caucus; from several of the 2020 presidential contenders; and the literal chants of “impeach” that arose from the crowd as she addressed the California Democratic Party State Convention this past weekend. She insists that before taking such a drastic step, Democrats must build an “ironclad” case.
She’s right. And the party should listen to her.
Pelosi understands that if congressional Democrats get ahead of the public and impeach Trump on, essentially, a party-line vote in the House, but then fail to gain the two-thirds Senate supermajority required for conviction — which is almost certain, given the way many Senate Republicans have bent over backward to excuse Trump’s questionable behavior — they risk making the mistake Republicans made 20 years ago, making Trump the new “comeback kid” and jeopardizing their own 2020 prospects." -Tom Daschle
Daschle closes by saying "Democrats should approach 2020 understanding that Trump has something like a 50-50 chance of winning reelection, rather than acting like impeachment is just an acceleration of the inevitable," adding "We can’t afford the confusion such an outcome would create. At stake is the fabric of our republic: our democratic institutions and the rule of law."