House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing mounting pressure to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, resulting in a clash behind closed doors with members of her own party on Monday evening in a House Democratic leadership meeting, according to sources familiar with what transpired.
Pelosi, Rep. Jim Clyburn and Rep. Steny Hoyer pushed back on the calls for impeachment from members of the Democratic leadership team and Judiciary Committee, as first reported by Politico and confirmed by ABC News.
Other members — Rep. Jamie Raskin and Rep. David Cicilline — who are members of the House Judiciary Committee — "stood tall" in their calls for impeachment, according to one source in the room.
Raskin specifically argued that it could streamline Democrats’ investigations and help them in court.
Pelosi responded by asking if he was advocating for shutting down the 5 other committees who are working, sources said.
"You want to tell Elijah Cummings to go home?" she asked, according to an aide in the room.
As for the impeachment advocates -- they are arguing that it would help them strengthen their investigation and obtain documents and information the administration is blocking.
Those in favor of impeachment argue it would help them force administration compliance, and aren't necessarily calling for a quick push for a full House vote to launch a trial in the Senate.
Pelosi and Rep. Jerry Nadler have argued that Democrats’ success today in court regarding Trump’s financial records suggests they are on the right path.
"Now, what we said when we started it that these [investigations] will yield information to us. Today, we won our first case," Pelosi told Democrats in a second meeting Monday evening, according to an aide in the room.
"We’ve been in this thing for almost 5 months and now we’re getting some results," she added.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., an impeachment advocate, asked Pelosi if she was concerned about losing seats.
“This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the strength we need to have to see things through," she said.
"We still have un-exhausted avenues here" she said, referencing inherent contempt.
"We have invested this much time. I don’t know why we would say McGahn, that’s it," she added.
Chairman Nadler, even as he pointed to Democrats’ success in the civil courts, also suggested that Trump may not leave Democrats with any other options.
"The President’s continuing lawless conduct is making it harder and harder to rule out impeachment or any other enforcement mechanism," he said, according to an aide in the room.