According to an internal email from the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee, staff members are concerned that continuing to discuss former President Donald Trump
and his impeachment
could backfire on Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterm elections
, which is in charge of defending and expanding Democrats
majority, issued a press release on Friday morning criticizing Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) and her "top 10 failings" in Congress, one of which was her vote not to impeach Trump for his role in sparking the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
However, the DCCC included an email exchange between staffers discussing document revisions at the bottom of the press release by mistake.
“[D]o we think highlighting her vote not to impeach Trump is helpful?” one staffer asked. “In midterm with him out of WH, not sure how much we want to keep highlighting him and giving the Trump base a reason to turn out.”
Staffers ultimately decided to include the impeachment line in the release.
It's not surprising that Democrats may not want to focus on Trump as much in swing districts as they do in liberal districts, but the internal email confirms that it's still a topic of discussion in races like Steel's, where former Rep. Harley Rouda (D) is running to unseat her in 2022.
A staffer suggested using the terms “divisive” or “do-nothing” instead of “QAnon
Congresswoman” in the release because Steel “hasn’t personally expressed support for QAnon.”
Another DCCC staffer responded that they had been using that term for months, citing her opposition to the removal of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
(R-GA), the most prominent QAnon congresswoman, from her committee assignments, and that it was Rouda's personal request that they use that term for Steel, which was also included in the release.
The National Republican
Congressional Committee gleefully disseminated the leaked email to its own press list, claiming it demonstrated that “Harley Rouda pressured the DCCC to intentionally spread disinformation
about Michelle Steel, which they did despite knowing it wasn't true.”
The DCCC declined to make any additional comments.