Moderate democrats warn of "kitchen sink" impeachment push

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
A group of House Democratic centrists is warning its caucus that any case against President Donald Trump should steer clear of Robert Mueller — resurfacing an ugly internal debate on impeachment that could complicate the coming weeks.

Multiple moderates — including freshman lawmakers deemed most at risk in 2020 — have urged Democrats not to relitigate the issues in the Mueller report in their own investigation into the Ukraine scandal. But key Democrats, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, have suggested that it could be included in eventual articles of impeachment, with many in the caucus still eager to repudiate Trump for his misconduct outlined by Mueller.

“Activities from the 2016 election, I think, should be left to voters in the 2020 election,” said Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah), who represents one of the most GOP-leaning seats in the nation. “My focus is on those things that are forward looking.”

"I would prefer that we stick to what we have," added Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D-Ariz.), co-chair of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition.

The warning from vulnerable Democrats follows Nadler’s remarks at the Judiciary panel’s first impeachment hearing Wednesday in which he made a significant connection between Trump’s obstruction of Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and his potential abuse of power in pressuring Ukraine to help his reelection campaign.

Some vulnerable Democrats have privately complained to colleagues that their legislative agenda is at risk of getting engulfed by the impeachment effort, potentially endangering their House majority next year. Those Democrats also are facing a deluge of GOP-backed ads in their districts hitting them for supporting the impeachment inquiry with little counteroffensive from Democratic groups. two House Democrats — Reps. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota — remain opposed to the inquiry .

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