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Democrats' impeachment trap

Our "Axios on HBO" interview with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus, shows the pitfalls that party leaders see for impeachment.

The big picture: They already think President Trump is obviously guilty, but know there could be a backlash if their members go out and dunk on him every night. So they have to act like they're just following the facts, when it's obvious where this is headed.

  • And because because impeachment is a lot hotter here than out in the country, they have to try to keep talking about issues like prescription drug prices — when impeachment is consuming their days.

Why it matters: House Democrats are desperate to avoid mistakes that House Republicans made when they impeached President Clinton back in the '90s.

  • Thanks to overreach by Republicans, Clinton actually gained popularity.

The bottom line: That's why Speaker Pelosi was so reluctant to plunge into impeachment — she knows Trump corruption hasn't been a winning political issue.