‘Rush’ of 2020 Democrats could follow Warren call for Trump impeachment: ‘The dam has broken’
Composite image of John Heilemann and Nicolle Wallace (screengrabs)

Following the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called for the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

NBC News national affairs analyst John Heilemann suggested that the question was not if another 2020 Democrat would follow Warren's lead, but how many.

"The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help," Warren charged. "Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack."

"To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways," she explained.

"The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States," Warren concluded.

"It's worth noting at this point, I believe Elizabeth Warren is the first Democratic presidential candidate to come forward and said she's for impeachment," Heilemann noted. "And so there is, just on an analytical level, there's a lot of pressure in the Democratic base on the left side for this, the same pressure that Nancy Pelosi is facing right now."

"Now that the dam has broken, now that Elizabeth Warren has taken this step, crossed the Rubicon -- whatever metaphor you want to use -- how many others will now follow?" Heilemann wondered. "It's an interesting piece of strategic and game theory."

"We could well now see a rush -- not of all the Democratic candidates -- but now that she's taken that position, you can quickly see a lot of them in this position because it's not a coordinated thing," he explained. "All of these candidates are acting in their own interest because she's taken a position that will get her traction with a large segment of the nominating electorate and a lot of people are going to feel a lot of pressure over this weekend to follow on that path."