The rising chorus for impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump has taken a new turn with pressure mounting on dithering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

According to reports, rising number of Democrats seeking Trump’s censure stepped the heat on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, considered impeachment-skeptic.

Pelosi has now agreed to hold a meeting of Democrat lawmakers on Wednesday morning to hear out their grievances that Trump administration has been scuttling Congress oversight efforts by instigating Executive branch to defy its authority.  

The impeachment inquiry demand is now past Russia investigation or the Mueller report. The new concern is Trump administration’s rebuff to congressional investigations.

Tipping point

The latest tipping point is the refusal of former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

 “I think it’s time for us to, at the very least, open an impeachment inquiry ... we’ve been given no choice I think, in this scenario,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in an interview with Reuters.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) was more ballistic. He said the executive branch cannot be allowed to dictate what Congress will receive in terms of witnesses and documents during its oversight work.

Trump obstructing Congress oversight

Feelings of attempted obfuscation by the White House are high among moderates. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), the vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee said lawmakers have reached an inflection point. The lawmaker said they are dealing with a president who not only obstructed the Mueller inquiry but also stifling the work of Congress by telling witnesses “that they cannot speak about public documents.”

Trump administration has been validating its refusal to cooperate with subpoena requests on documents and witnesses on the ground that Democrats have no legislative purpose in seeking information such as Trump’s tax returns, financial details or the complete Mueller report.

Democratic caucus divided

Despite the determination of Judiciary members to start an impeachment inquiry, its chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is yet to agree. This shows a divide within the Democratic caucus as many in the leadership are not sailing with the ranks.

Even Democrats seeking impeachment inquiry are taking pains to explain they are only seeking information and not trying to pass articles of impeachment. They are calling it an exercise in public education.  

Rep Mary Gay Scanlon said the American people need to see the evidence to decide. “That’s why it’s an inquiry, not actual articles of impeachment.”

The lawmaker compared the current situation to the Watergate hearings which informed the American public how then-President Richard Nixon’s actions threatened democracy.    Donald Trump President Donald Trump looks on during an event recognizing the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride in the East Room of the White House, Washington, D.C., April 18, 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At a recent press conference, Pelosi punched holes into the argument of the White House in refusing subpoenas on Trump’s records. She said impeachment proceedings are a valid ground for seeking such information.

“One of the purposes the Constitution spells out for investigation is impeachment,” Pelosi quipped.

Not in haste for impeachment  

Meanwhile, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries sought to downplay the reports of internal dissent regarding Trump’s impeachment.

He told reporters Tuesday that it is a wrong notion that many in the House Democratic Caucus want to jump straight to impeachment. Jeffries added that Democrats have a “responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch” in an indirect defense to the impeachment inquiry demand.