House Democrats this week are set to resolve a seemingly insignificant standoff with deceptively big consequences: Deciding who would lead potential impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump if they take back the House.
Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), two longtime members who both hail from power centers of the Democratic Party, are competing to be the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. That’s the panel that historically holds the keys to the impeachment process.
Both Nadler and Lofgren know they’re signing up to be Trump’s chief antagonist in Congress. But in separate interviews they also emphasized the importance of Democrats not overplaying their hand.
They’re both acutely aware that appearing too eager about impeaching the president could alienate voters and vulnerable incumbents in their caucus who cringe when the topic comes up.