The White House on Thursday offered to send Democratic congressional leaders talking points on the prospects of impeaching President Trump if they agree to support the short-term government funding bill, according to two sources.
The plan, which officials set up for a Senate Democratic aide, was intended to address emerging Democratic concerns that GOP leadership is moving too slowly to draw up articles of impeachment.
And it would prevent Democrats from gaming out an impeachment process ahead of the elections, which will likely determine whether Republicans retain a House majority and extend the president’s term in office.
But shortly after it was sent — followed by subsequent counteroffers made for the following day — officials withdrew the document without comment, according to one Democratic aide.
“This is a page out of the R’s playbook. Disagree and they are going to go nuclear. End of negotiation,” tweeted Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with the political consulting firm Compass Point.
Although many Democrats have said they would like to see the president impeached, past efforts by Republicans to draw up articles of impeachment have gone nowhere, leading Republicans to characterize the processes as counterproductive.
Senior congressional Republicans said they believe the only path to impeachment is via the conservative House Judiciary Committee, which Republicans hold a majority of seats in. The panel’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has publicly said impeachment is not on the table.
“We have an open process,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. “We’re getting it done.”