Even before a single article of impeachment has been drafted, the inquiry by House Democrats into President Donald Trump's apparent attempts to strong-arm the government of Ukraine to help him investigate his presidential opponents has had a significant impact on the goings on in Washington.
According to Politico, one of the main places where this is apparent is the president's National Security Council.
One unnamed council officer said that impeachment is "the elephant in the room and no one talks about it." And a former member warned, "There's a general concern, or even maybe more than just concern, that we're going to reach a state of paralysis now on national security issues and policy issues ... The people I've talked to are interpreting the coming weeks and months as generally not productive."
Even before the impeachment inquiry began, Trump had reduced the NSC to a shell of its former prestige. Three successive heads of the agency have been fired, one of whom is going to prison, and the agency, once a huge career advancement for members of the intelligence community, is now toxic and shunned by longtime civil servants.