Pelosi Expects Legislative Cooperation From Trump Despite Impeachment: 'Ball Is In His Court'

Susan Jones | October 2, 2019 | 11:46am EDT
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speak at an Oc. 2 press conference. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began her news conference on Wednesday by stressing legislation -- and cooperation with President Trump! -- when it comes to lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

Pelosi also cited "progress" on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and she mentioned the need for an infrastructure bill. She said she hopes Democrats can work with the president on those priorities -- even as Democrats are hell-bent on impeaching him.

Pelosi said just because Democrats are going after Trump, it doesn't mean the two sides can't work together.

"They have nothing to do with each other," Pelosi said, referring to legislation amid the impeachment inquiry.

We have a responsibility to uphold our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We also have a responsibility to get the job done for the American people.

The president has said he wants this U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to go forward, and we are awaiting the language on enforceability. So it doesn't mean he can't do that. That's really up to him, and I do expect that he does want that and that he does need that and that he's not going to blame it on us because we are honoring our oath of office.

And then he says that he wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The American people want us to do that. So is the president saying, if you question my actions, I can't agree on any subject, then the ball is in his court.

At one point, Pelosi was forced to ask reporters, "Does anyone care about" prescription drug legislation or the trade deal? Few did care.

The ongoing impeachment inquiry was what reporters -- a larger than usual crowd -- wanted to hear about, and to oblige them, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, appeared with Pelosi at her news conference.

Schiff called it a "fraught time," and he updated people on events of the last week -- various hearings and subpoenas.

He made it sound like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is interfering with the impeachment inquiry by insisting that State Department employees called before the committees have access to Executive Branch legal counsel.

Schiff also mentioned today's impeachment headline -- that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, will subpoena the White House on Friday -- in consultation with the House intelligence and foreign affairs committees -- to obtain documents that may be used against President Donald Trump in the recently accelerated impeachment inquiry.

"The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters," Cummings said in a letter notifying committee members, who are on a two-week recess.

"I do not take this step lightly. Over the past several weeks, the Committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with -- or even respond to -- the Committees. ...The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents -- combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations -- have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena."

The Democrats' document request is voluminous, covering all communications, written or otherwise, involving Ukraine made by anyone in Trump's orbit.


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