Beginning the formal effort to oust President Donald Trump through impeachment, at the moment, remains a politically heavy lift says SUNY Albany Adjunct Professor Bruce Gyory.
"The polling data is not there. Independents are not interested in impeachment [and] independents are vital to the Democrats winning next year. But the polling is just no there," Gyory said.
But Gyory says that sentiment could change after next week, when former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies to Congress — answering questions on Russian involvement in the 2016 election and the lengths to which the president sought to stall or end the investigation.
"We won't really know where public opinion is next week on this until we see the reaction to the Mueller testimony next week," Gyory said.
But as the landscape stands now, impeachment would be difficult for newly elected lawmakers. Democrats flipped a pair of upstate House districts in 2018, with Congressmen Anthony Brindisi and Antonio Delgado turning their seats from red to blue. But those districts only two years earlier voted for President Trump.
"You look at the seats the Democrats need to expand their majority, it's to hold Brindisi, hold Delgado," Gyory said.
Meanwhile, Republicans in New York say they welcome Mueller's testimony, including Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
"I'm glad he's testifying. I think there's going to be tough questions from both sides of the aisle, but I don't support impeaching the president and I think as we head into 2020, the American people are going to make themselves be heard loud and clear at the ballot box," Stefanik said.
Republican Congressman Tom Reed is also skeptical of impeachment proceedings.
"When you talk about overturning the voice of the people that put a president into office through impeachment, that's a very slippery slope and very dangerous," Reed said.
Simply impeaching the president would not remove him from office. There would be a trial in the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.