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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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After months of resisting pleas from her fellow Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally Wednesday announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. You could practically hear the Hallelujah Chorus coming off Capitol Hill.
But this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. For Democrats, the hard work is only just starting.
And as much enthusiasm for impeachment is gathering among congressional Democrats, they still have to spread that zeal across the country. Only a minority of Americans today support removing Trump from office.
This is the wisdom of starting off with an impeachment inquiry rather than move directly to voting on articles of impeachment.
The inquiry will provide House Democrats an opportunity to both build and lay out a compelling case against Trump. The idea will be to increase the percentage of Americans desiring to remove Trump.
This is particularly important once you cast eyes on the Senate, where Republicans have consistently provided Trump virtually unlimited political cover.
There is no way today that the Senate would remove Trump from office. However, perhaps as next year’s elections draw closer, a damning case against Trump could change the political calculus in the Senate.
Whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chooses to acknowledge the fact publicly or not, he will have politically vulnerable senators of one sort or another who now will have to take a stand on Trump’s guilt.
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