Pelosi: 'I Support What Is Happening in the Judiciary Committee,' But...

By Susan Jones | September 12, 2019 | 11:54am EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds a news conference on Sept. 12, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bristled on Thursday, when a reporter asked her, "Do you agree, do you concede now, that an impeachment inquiry of President Trump is underway?"

Earlier on Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee adopted a resolution setting out the procedures for an expanded investigation into President Trump. (Republicans said there was no need for such a resolution, aside from its "press release" value in getting the word "impeachment" back in the headlines.)

"Have you not paid attention to what we've been talking about?" Pelosi asked the reporter. "For months, we've been saying we're doing three things: we're legislating...we're investigating, as six committees have been doing for months...and third, we're litigating.

"So I stand by what we have been doing all along. I support what is happening in the Judiciary Committee because that enables them to do their process of interrogation and investigation. And I salute them for that work."

Pelosi, clearly wanting the focus to be on "legislating," praised the Judiciary Committee for passing three gun control bills earlier this week.

"So, legislate, investigate, litigate -- that's the path we've been on," she said. "And that's the path we continue to be on."

Earlier Thursday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said people can call his committee’s expanded investigation anything they want:

“This committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump. That is what we are doing. Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There's no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature,” Nadler said.

With that in mind, a reporter asked Pelosi if "specific language" shouldn't be important, given the confusion among the American people about whether Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry or not.

Pelosi said the American people "understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure -- that if we have to go there, we'll have to go there. But we can't go there unless we have the facts, and we will follow the facts and we will follow the obstruction that the president is making about getting the facts, and make our decision when we're ready."

Pelosi insisted that was all she would say about the subject. "And there's nothing different from one day to the next. We're still on our same path."

But reporters were not done. Another reporter said the American public is getting "mixed messages" about where Democrats stand on impeaching Trump.

"I've said what I'm going to say on the subject. That's it!" Pelosi responded.

We are legislating, we are focusing on the work that we are here to do for the American people.

And part of our responsibility is to honor our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And in doing so, we are getting, seeking the facts. I am not answering any more questions on this subject!

That is what we have said all along, that's what we continue to do, and the America public, when I go out there, people are saying, it's good to be careful about how we proceed. And when we make a decision about this, whatever it may be, we want the American people to respect that we were careful, that we were methodical, that we were accommodating of the needs of the courts as we proceeded -- and of the ability of the president to exonerate himself.

If you have exculpatory information that proves your innocence -- let us see it. If not, you are obstructing our access to what that information may be. And that is where we are.

Next question on any other subject?

The only way to launch a real, formal impeachment inquiry is for the full House to vote “aye.” Pelosi has made it clear, even before Thursday, that won't happen any time soon.


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