House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is maintaining her harsh stance against President Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice and related behavior — but exact stance might not be what even some of her Democratic colleagues would prefer she hold. This week during a public interview conducted with CNN’s Manu Raju at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Summit, she asserted that her majority in the House would continue their aggressive oversight and investigation of the Trump administration — but not pursue impeachment, for now.
Explaining her reasoning, she shared:
‘We try to find as much common ground as possible while maintaining the boldest common denominator. Impeachment — if you’re going down that path — you don’t go to court with your weakest case, as long as you’re getting more information to build your case, you have the responsibility to do that.’
Raju countered by quizzing Pelosi on the ultimately most appropriate response to the president’s behavior that she herself has called out, asking:
‘If you really believe the president may have committed crimes in office, isn’t it your obligation to mount an impeachment inquiry?’
The long-serving Democratic leader did not budge, sharing in return:
‘My obligation is to do whatever we do in the most effective way possible.’
Overall, she indicated as other Democratic leaders have at other times that she feels that striking out down the path of impeachment while it would be such a partisan politics-laced move is blatantly inappropriate. She’s not trying to defend the Democratic Party, as she explained it — she and her colleagues are trying to represent the interests of the American people and defend the Constitution while little towards that end emerges from the White House, where Trump just keeps spinning out of control on Twitter and other fronts of the global stage.
Asserting that impeachment is still not “off the table” no matter whether she’s pursuing it right this minute, Pelosi separately added:
‘I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons; I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons. It’s not about Democrats and Republicans… it’s about patriotism to this country.’
Many of her colleagues don’t conclude this argument the same way she does. Some 60 Democrats and counting have come out in support of impeaching the president in the face of the evidence supporting obstruction of justice allegations against him that’s laid out in the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Even one Republican has done so — Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.
Still, Pelosi and her closest colleagues aren’t rushing to impeach. During her talk with Raju, the House speaker shared that she trusts the ongoing committee investigation process to lead Democrats down an appropriate way to confront the Trump administration’s behavior. Just in recent days, the House Judiciary Committee scored a temporary victory in getting the Justice Department to agree to hand over some underlying evidence associated with the Mueller report — so in other words, Pelosi is definitely onto something.
Although accompanying that hand-off from the Justice Department, the Judiciary Committee agreed to halt contempt proceedings against Attorney General Bill Barr, he’s still facing a newly announced vote on a contempt resolution against him from the House Oversight Committee. These contempt resolutions would open the door to taking Barr to court.
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