News Analysis: Experts say U.S. Democrats' call for Trump impeachment may be empty threat

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-31 14:07:47|Editor: Liu
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by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Democrats continue to bang their fists on the table and demand an impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump. But experts said the threats may never amount to action.

On Sunday, four additional Democrats called for an impeachment investigation against the U.S. president, moving closer to a majority of House Democrats who support such a move.

That makes nearly a dozen additional House Democrats since last week who have shown support for opening an impeachment inquiry, bringing the total number to 107, falling just 11 members short of a Democratic Caucus majority.

That suggests that the idea is gaining momentum, some experts said.

Democrats continue to accuse the president's 2016 campaign team of colluding with Russia in a bid to clinch the White House.

"The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed," Mueller told a hearing last week before the House Judiciary Committee about his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

He told lawmakers that he would not say if the president had committed a crime.

After the Mueller hearings, Democrats continue to call for an impeachment inquiry. However, the threats may be just threats, experts said.

"They're not going to give it up, because they've backed themselves into a corner with their base. They continue to scream that there is collusion," Republican Strategist and TV news personality Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

"But at the same time, they haven't begun impeachment proceedings. And the reason is because they know that with Republican control of the Senate, and nothing coming out of the Mueller hearings, officially beginning impeachment proceedings would be political suicide," O'Connell said.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua: "I would be surprised if the House moved to impeach, because only 31 percent of Americans supported that in the last Washington Post survey. There needs to be much more public support for impeachment to move in that direction."

O'Connell wrote in a recent column on The Hill, a U.S. political publication, that "although Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to see Trump 'in prison,' it is clear on some level that she recognizes the dangers of moving forward with impeachment."

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has in recent months publicly flirted with the idea of impeaching Trump, but so far has stayed outside the ranks of lawmakers openly calling for removing Trump from office.

"Let me be very clear: the president's behavior, as far as his obstruction of justice, the things that he is doing, it's in plain sight, it cannot be denied -- ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice," Pelosi said.

However, the House speaker has stopped short of calling for impeachment.

The House has only impeached 19 individuals in U.S. history, namely 15 federal judges, one senator, one cabinet member, and two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson.