There appears to be some doubt about whether or not the Democrats are actually on the road to impeachment. It’s a talking point floating around Republican circles and in other places, and it’s mostly centered on one big assumption: The Democrats will chicken out when it comes to impeaching the President.
This is a false hope. Nancy Pelosi did not go on national television on Tuesday and use the word “impeachment” — chiseling it into the minds of Americans — only to do a 180 degree turn later. The Committees in the House will do investigatory work and then the Democrats are going to hold a formal vote on articles of impeachment. Currently, a majority of Democratic members (along with one independent) now support impeaching the President, and it’s hard to see what will get them to change their minds.
I think confusion has crept in due to the nature of Pelosi’s method of impeachment, e.g., calling it an “impeachment inquiry” and initiating the inquiry through the House’s Committees. However, this is historically the way the procedure has begun. Up until Richard Nixon’s Presidency, there had only been one occasion where impeachment was voted on by House members before a committee made an affirmative recommendation to the House. The Constitution does not require that the House go through this process (we learned this during Bill Clinton’s impeachment), but it is the historical precedent.
Some House members are set to go on recess for two weeks, and were given talking points by leadership which specifically state that Trump “has reached a grave new level of lawlessness that demands an impeachment inquiry.” I suppose there is a chance that Pelosi is sending her members back to their constituents with talking points about an impeachment inquiry that will never happen. But the likelihood of that is close to zero.
Impeachment is coming.