Nancy Pelosi: ‘Right Now What I’m Concerned About Is the President’s Undermining of the Constitution’

By Staff | March 5, 2019 | 11:06am EST
(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her press briefing on Thursday brushed aside questions about whether she believed President Donald Trump had violated campaign finance laws and indicated that her primary concern at this point was that, in her view, the president was “undermining the Constitution” with his declaration of a national emergency on border security.

Pelosi’s briefing came one day after the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.


“Right now what I’m concerned about is the president’s undermining of the Constitution of the United States with his, again, ill‑advised declaration,” Pelosi said. “I think he is totally wrong.’

On Tuesday of last week, the House voted 245 to 182 to approve a resolution to reverse Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. For that resolution to take force, it would need to pass the Senate and then both chambers would need supermajority votes to override a presidential veto.

Here is the full text of the exchange that Pelosi had with reporters about campaign finance laws and Trump’s national emergency declaration:

Q: Madam Speaker, what should the consequence be if the President did violate campaign finance laws while in office?

Speaker Pelosi: You know, I haven’t – let me just say, I’ve read you what we’re doing here. We’re constantly busy. And so, I didn’t sit down and watch the proceedings yesterday.

But, I do know what I saw your – in the reporting of many of you, is that Chairman Cummings was just a magnificent maestro. And, each and every one of our Members did a very good job in trying to elicit the truth, to try to get to the facts.

Some of it was confirmation, as Gerry Connolly said. Some of it confirmed things that we’d – that they had heard otherwise. And some of it, as you heard, was possibly new. Some of the high-profile statements seemed new. This, again, I’m not in any position to verify what he said, but that would be – Mr. Cummings had, I trust his judgment, and he had some questions about suspicions that that might be true.

Q: Would that be an impeachable offense?

Speaker Pelosi: Well, I’m not going into that. I’m not going into that.

We have two investigations: the Mueller report that we’re all anxiously awaiting and, as was indicated, the one thing I did see widely reported was that the witness said that other issues that he was aware of were under consideration by the Southern District of New York. So let’s see what that is.

But, again, impeachment is a divisive issue in our country, and let us see what the facts are, what the law is, and what the behavior is of the President.

I’ve said to some of you running up and down the hall – right now what I’m concerned about is the President’s undermining of the Constitution of the United States with his, again, ill‑advised declaration. I think he is totally wrong.

I was at the border this past weekend. What he is proposing is going on there is mythology, it is not reality. I wish you could all go to Laredo for the week of the birthday of George Washington, and honoring George Washington, Martha Washington, so patriotic, such pride and heritage, such patriotism about America.

So that concerns me more than what may or may not be said now. When the facts are known, then we’ll make a judgment then.

I’m also concerned about what the President is doing, in denial of what is happening in terms of climate change and, in our public policy arena, that he is still in denial.

I’m concerned about his heaping praise on a tax bill that gives 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent and ignores the needs of people as we write budgets.

So I’m more concerned about his policy than his personality. However, when the facts are known, then we can make a judgment.

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