House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler last week over his 'Moby Dick'-like obsession with impeaching President Trump - days before Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski wiped the floor with Congressional Democrats during a contentious five-hour hearing on Tuesday in front of Nadler's panel.
Pelosi's comments came during a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting of Democrats last week, where she complained that Judiciary Committee aides have advanced the impeachment push "far beyond where the House Democratic Caucus stands," according to Politico.
"And you can feel free to leak this," Pelosi added, according to several people who were there.
It was the latest sign of the widening schism between Pelosi and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, two longtime allies who are increasingly in conflict over where to guide the party at one of its most critical moments.
Both Pelosi and Nadler, who have served in the House together for more than 25 years, insist their relationship remains strong. But their rift over impeachment is getting harder and harder to paper over amid Democrats’ flailing messaging on the topic and a growing divide in the caucus. -Politico
And while Pelosi aides told Politico that Nadler has coordinated with her office on investigations, legal strategy and messaging - and Pelosi has signed off on all the Judiciary Committee's court filings against Trump, the House Speaker has been expressing skepticism for months that a successful impeachment in the House would only lead to "exonerating" Trump on the campaign trail after the effort dies in the GOP-led Senate.
Pelosi has privately clashed with Nadler over his aggressive impeachment agenda, arguing the public does not support it and it does not have the 218 votes to pass on the House floor. So far, about 137 Democrats say they would vote to open an official impeachment inquiry.
The relationship between the two veteran lawmakers has become strained. While Pelosi has blocked the House from formally voting to open an impeachment inquiry, Nadler declared he is authorized to begin one even without a House vote. -Washington Examiner
"Am I concerned? The answer is yes!," Florida Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala told the Washington Examiner. "In my district, I’m not getting asked about impeachment. I’m being asked about healthcare, I’m being asked about the environment, and about infrastructure. It’s not like around the country they are thinking about impeachment. It’s a Washington phenomenon as far as I can tell."
Shalala and other Democrats now regularly express concern privately to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the wall-to-wall impeachment effort by House Democrats is blocking their legislative agenda from public view. How can they convince constituents they are working on lowering prescription drug prices, some Democratic lawmakers have complained, when the news cycle revolves primarily around Nadler’s weekly confrontational hearings related to impeachment?
Pelosi tells lawmakers to stay “on message” about the Democratic agenda, which includes a House-passed gun background check bill and will soon include a prescription drug measure Shalala is eager to advance. -Washington Examiner
"She’s doing what she can do," Shalala said of Pelosi. "She’s saying, 'Keep your eye on the ball.' That is what she is saying to us."
During Tuesday's 'impeachment' hearing, Corey Lewandowski beat Congressional Democrats like a red-headed stepchild - starting with his opening statement:
"Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," said Lewandowski. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda — to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States," Lewandowski said in his opening statement - later adding "We, as a Nation, would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country, as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing."
"As for actual 'collusion,' or 'conspiracy,' there was none. What there has been, however, is harassment of the president from the day he won the election."
"Corey Lewandowski was very precise," Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of the House panel, told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "And House Democrats looked like a dog that had chased a car and then caught it and then did not know what to do about it."