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White House

Hakeem Jeffries: A Second Impeachment Effort Is Not in the Cards

Every now and then, you hear House Democrats murmuring about impeaching President Trump a second time, on a third article of impeachment (or more). In January, Nancy Pelosi’s lawyer, Douglas Letter, told the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that the addition of a third article of impeachment was “on the table, there is no doubt.”

In a new interview in GQ, House impeachment manager Representative Hakeem Jeffries throws cold water on that idea.

Does the House have any recourse? Is a second impeachment in the cards?

In my view, no. It’s in the hands of the American people at this point to decide the fate of Donald Trump.

What if he’s re-elected, would you undertake a second impeachment?

It’s my expectation that he will not be re-elected…

If Jeffries doesn’t think it’s a good idea, it is likely that the House Democratic leadership is similarly skeptical.

In theory, any time there are 218 House members who believe the president has committed a high crime or misdemeanor that warrants a trial in the Senate and removal from office, they can and probably ought to go ahead with it in the name of justice. In practice, another impeachment by the Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives would probably be a gift to President Trump. It would make House Democrats look obsessed with removing the president. It would be a rerun of the same kind of arguments and counter-arguments. The vote would remain about the same, or perhaps even exactly the same. Impeachment would continue to slide towards a routine form of a House majority’s expressing vehement disagreement with a president.

This is the drawback of coming at a president with the biggest tool in the congressional toolbox without a bipartisan consensus. Once a president has survived one attempt to remove him from office, why would he fear another?

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