Restless House Democrats are reportedly unhappy that the release of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s long-awaited report has left them with few victories over the Trump administration.
Some are at least privately venting their anger by sniping at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, according to Tuesday report.
The Hill‘s report relied heavily upon anonymous sources
But the crux of the argument against Nadler is that investigations into Trump have yet to produce anything Democrats can use against President Donald Trump.
“Nadler’s response to the Mueller report has been sloppy, disorganized, too heavy handed in some instances, not tough enough in others, critics say,” The Hill reported, claiming that some critics believe Nadler was insufficiently aggressive in his approach when efforts to subpoena information hit a White House brick wall.
If “Republicans don’t comply with something, we should be ready to … slap them on the wrist right away. Not wait days and days and days and then figure out what we want to do,” The Hill quoted what it claimed was “a Democratic lawmaker involved in investigations into the Trump administration” as saying.
“You don’t show up for the hearing? Well, this is the second step; this is what I’m going to do. You get three warnings, and then the next thing is the move to contempt. And then the next thing is, we’re going to court,” the source said.
“We should just have that lined up, so that it’s just like, boom, boom, and so they know what’s going to come.”
“I think that the Republicans are playing games and not complying with stuff. They just think, ‘Oh, well, let’s see what they do. … It can’t be that bad,’” the source said, admitting that Nadler undoubtedly checks his actions with the House leadership.
And therein lies the rub.
There is a world of difference between House Democrat firebrands who have embraced impeachment with zest and fury and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who has said its time may come when and if various House investigations produce evidence that Trump has committed an impeachable offense.
But Pelosi believes that time has not yet come. In effect, if the committees, such as the one Nadler heads, come up empty, then impeachment withers away.
Pelosi has said impeachment requires that the American people understand why House Democrats want to try to remove Trump from office.
The report by The Hill said critics bemoan the fact that the 71-year-old Nadler has failed to rally the nation.
“They have all hammer, no finesse,” a Democrat source told The Hill.
Mueller’s report has been a “big missed opportunity and any of the other chairmen would have played it differently. Yes, they are in an impossible situation, which is why they need more finesse than hammer,” the source said, according to The Hill.
“You can’t come at it head-on. You have to be creative on how to get the information,” the source added.
Another Democrat source quoted by The Hill said Nadler was overmatched.
“You need a pirate” to face Trump, the source said. “Nadler is just a sailor.”
Nadler’s inability to give Democrats an iron-clad impeachment offense was cited recently by Peter Daou, who said recently he might primary Nadler in 2020, according to the Washington Examiner.
Daou was in charge of digital operations for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign
“This is not a time for half-measures. We are facing a threat we’ve never faced before — certainly within our lifetimes — and that’s an autocrat as a president, somebody who has no respect for the rule of law,” Daou said during a Friday interview on MSNBC.
“I don’t want to impugn the integrity of Speaker Pelosi or Representative Nadler … but they are failing colossally at this point,” Daou said, adding that “the Democratic Party leadership needs to change.”
Although the concept of impeaching Trump has consumed many House Democrats, the most the House can do is file charges against the president.
If that were to happen, a trial would be held in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has said the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
“I think it would be disposed of very quickly,” he said in May, according to The Hill.
“If it’s based on the Mueller report, or anything like that, it would be quickly disposed of.”
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