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Nancy Pelosi's impeachment power

In this image, Pelosi speaks while standing near an American flag.
Speaker Pelosi holds her weekly news conference on May 23. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

There may not be another Democrat in the country, besides Speaker Pelosi, who would have had the ability to hold off the rank and file's push to impeach President Trump.

The state of play: The view on the Hill seems to be that if Pelosi puts her foot down and says "no" to impeachment, then there’s no chance House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler or others will defy her wishes.

Yes, but: The pressure to impeach will keep growing.

  • If Democrats win in court to get Trump’s financial documents, some energy could go out of the impeachment drive.
  • But if Democrats lose in court, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to hold off impeachment.

Be smart: Ignore any Democrats who say you can always open an impeachment inquiry, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll impeach Trump.

  • In what universe do you see Democrats opening impeachment — which would be the dominant story in America for the foreseeable future — and then get to the end of it and say: "You know what? He’s kinda clean and legit!"

Go deeper: How an impeachment inquiry could make it easier for Dems to investigate Trump