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Pressure Builds on Pelosi to Back Impeachment Proceedings

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacts after signing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 on Capitol in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under renewed pressure to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump as House Democrats who were previously reluctant to do so signal a change in outlook.

The shift comes in the wake of the current whistleblower scandal, in which Democrats accuse the Trump administration of stonewalling the release of information obtained by an anonymous intelligence official and potentially damaging to Trump.

Media speculation has revolved around whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the latter of whom had business holdings in Ukraine from 2014 to early 2019.

Seven freshmen Democrats published an op-ed Tuesday in the Washington Post in which they agreed that if Trump did use his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, then that would constitute “an impeachable offense.” These congressmen all have experience in the military or national security, and several represent swing districts where reelection is considered difficult.

As detailed in a report from Politico, other centrist congressmen who have stuck by Pelosi’s counsels of moderation when it comes to impeachment, are moving towards outright support. Since Monday afternoon, twelve Democrats have announced their support for impeachment, with most of them conditioning their support on verification of misconduct by Trump.

Pelosi has resisted calls by fellow Democrats to impeach the president for months, worried that doing so may cost centrist lawmakers their seats. She and other allies are also wary of beginning impeachment proceedings in the House, only to see them fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, which could have ramifications for the 2020 presidential elections.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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