House Democrats are itching to move quickly with their impeachment inquiry in light of the latest allegations against President Trump, but don’t have a sense of how long it will take.
A few weeks ago, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced he wanted to reach a decision on whether to move forward with articles of impeachment by the end of the year, but now members can’t say if that is still the schedule.
However, several members are hoping expeditious still means by the end of 2019.
“Everything in government has a rhythm and I think that the fall is going to be our opportunity to try and identify the major high crimes and misdemeanors and articulate them,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat.
Rep. Dean Phillips, a freshman member from a front-line district, endorsed impeachment only recently, but said he is concerned about the investigation bleeding into 2020.
“I think that it’s important for the country to see that this institution can operate effectively and efficiently and expeditiously,” the Minnesota Democrat said. “And the reasons so many of us changed perspective last weekend was because we found this egregious and urgent and I think that should be reflected in the process.
“I would be disappointed if [it’s] not by the end of the year,” he added.
Mr. Phillips said he is still waiting to hear from leadership what the process and timeline for the investigation will be.
Rep. Karen Bass, who has voted for impeachment before, warned that if Democrats allow the process to go into the election year, it gives Mr. Trump and the GOP an opportunity to attack members and cast the investigation as a political ploy.
However, Rep. David Cicilline, a Judiciary Committee member and one of the lead figures in the impeachment push, said the election should not be the focus.
“We have a constitutional responsibility to hold the president responsible to demonstrate no one is above the law,” he said.