As long as Republicans assert that they disagree the president should be impeached, the argument is, de facto, over, based on Pelosi's reasoning. "Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit", the California congresswoman spent a lot of time discussing how little time she actually spends thinking about him. She avoided making an issue of it during November's midterm elections, and for very good reason. There is zero indication so far that Republicans are going to break with him so, even if the House were to impeach him, the Senate wouldn't reach the two-thirds threshold required (and probably not even a majority) to remove him. But dozens of Democrats joined Green in voting against the motion to table - 58 on December 6, 2017 and 66 on January 18, 2018 - a sign that they wanted to vote on the impeachment resolution and likely would've supported it. Steyer has also vowed to target the chairmen of House panels investigating the president to ensure they do their job, as his organization has said.
"If you think impeaching Bill Clinton was a bad idea, which I think most Democrats do, then you now have to think impeaching Trump is a bad idea", Burstein said, unless something that is clearly an impeachable offense is uncovered.
"There's also some dismissiveness there that you kind of have to acknowledge", said Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent of the PBS NewsHour and an MSNBC contributor.
So if Pelosi was trying to provide centrist Democrats, particularly ones who hail from districts Trump won in 2016, political cover - as some have surmised - it might all be for naught. In an an interview with CBS on Super Bowl Sunday, Trump said, "The only way they can win, because they can't win the election, is to bring out the artificial way of impeachment".
"When and if he breaks the law, that is grounds for when something like that would come up", she said at a press conference about Trump's efforts to undermine financial regulations. Rather, she says, the investigations need to take their course and impeachment, if warranted, will be clear.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., noted that the majority of freshman members have not been outspoken on impeachment, and that the Senate remains controlled by Republicans. "No, I don't think he's fit to be president of the United States", she said, before chiding herself for "coming across too negatively". "You know, I have five kids, and I think I can do everything for them, but I can't control the air they breathe, the water that they drink".
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"That doesn't mean we are voting on it, it means we are beginning the process to look at some of these alleged claims", Tlaib said.
She did include a caveat, allowing that something might emerge that could justify impeachment - but she thinks we're not there yet. "He's obstructed justice at the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
"I would like to see this president and the style of politics that he represents sent off through the electoral process, decisively defeated at the ballot box", South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Sunday night at a CNN presidential town hall.
Bossie said that he endorses the idea of the Mueller report being made public, "as much [of it] as humanly possible".
Regardless of whether Republicans get on board, Cohen sees the investigatory work the Judiciary Committee is doing as a "precursor to impeachment" that will eventually lead to that outcome.