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The impeachment whip list

Graphics: Axios Visuals

129 House Democrats and 1 independent now publicly support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, according to an Axios analysis.

Driving the news: Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) came out in favor of an impeachment inquiry on Thursday. Also this week, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) became the highest-ranking Democrat in the House to endorse an inquiry thus far, ranking 4th behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

  • Earlier in August, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said on CNN: "This is formal impeachment proceedings. We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence. And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to [bring] articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t."

Why it matters: A majority of House Democrats now support an impeachment inquiry against Trump. It will become harder for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to resist calls for impeachment, given that she now sits in the minority of her caucus.

The big picture: The total jumped after Trump hurled racist attacks against a group of congresswomen of color who had criticized his immigration policy. A major uptick emerged in the aftermath of Robert Mueller's late May statement, and again after the former special counsel's Capitol Hill testimony in July. The total was at 80 members as of June.

By the numbers:

  • 16 of the 24 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee publicly support an impeachment inquiry. 21 are needed to refer an impeachment resolution to the House floor.
  • Of the 9 Democrats that Axios identified as "influential" — the 3 top members of leadership and 6 committee chairs investigating Trump — 2 publicly support impeachment: Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters and Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel. Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler has reportedly pushed in private to open an impeachment inquiry.

The bottom line: Pelosi has long wagered that impeachment would be fruitless without overwhelming public support.

Go deeper: House Democrats relish Trump fight over racist tweets