House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is cautioning House Democrats on bringing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump ahead of a Monday evening caucus conference call to discuss the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The call comes as Democrats remain split on whether to seek the president’s ouster based on the special counsel’s findings described in his 448-page report released last Thursday. The Justice Department report specifies the inner workings of the two-year Russia probe and details how investigators found no evidence of collusion involving the Trump campaign and Russia before the 2016 presidential election.
Pelosi wrote in a letter to caucus members hours before the 5:00 p.m. call: “While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth. It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the President accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”
“As we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional needed reforms to protect our democracy, we must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact,” the House Speaker added.
Pelosi then pledged to support the House’s ongoing investigations into the president.
“As to the President’s conduct, we will scrupulously assert Congress’ constitutional duty to honor our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution and our democracy. That includes honoring the Article I responsibility of the legislative branch to conduct oversight over the other branches of government, unified in our search for the truth and in upholding the security of our elections,” she wrote.
Several progressive Democrats — including 2020 White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — pledged their support for impeachment proceedings, citing the Mueller report’s findings, placing them at odds with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Appearing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Nadler (D-NY) said he believed the report’s findings could be grounds for impeachment if obstruction of justice by the president could be “proven.” Conversely, Schiff was vaguer on the subject, telling ABC’s This Week that he would support impeachment if it is “the best thing for the country.”
“Is the best thing for the country to take up an impeachment proceeding because to do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office or is it in the best interest of the country not to take up an impeachment that we know will not be successful in the Senate because the Republican leadership will not do its duty? That’s a very tough question and I think is one we ought not to make overnight,” Schiff conceded.
In a March interview with the Washington Post, Pelosi all but ruled out impeachment, arguing President Trump isn’t worth the trouble. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it,” she told the Post.
President Trump on Monday told reporters at the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll that he is “not even a little bit” worried about impeachment.
“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment,” the president tweeted earlier Monday. “There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!”
Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment. There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2019