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.