House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers Monday that there are no plans to immediately open impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, rejecting calls from several Democrats to initiate steps to try to oust the president.
In a rare Monday night conference call, the California Democrat stressed that the near-term strategy in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is to focus on investigating the president and seeing where the inquiries lead. Members of Pelosi’s leadership team reaffirmed her cautious approach, according to four officials on the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
“We have to save our democracy. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy,” Pelosi said.
But Pelosi’s message did not go over well with several Democrats, who argued that Congress has a duty to hold Trump to account with impeachment despite the political blowback Pelosi has long feared.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, argued that as someone with more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement, she thought the House had enough evidence to proceed.
“While I understand we need to see the full report and all supporting documents, I believe we have enough evidence now,” Demings said.
Mueller, in the 448-page redacted report released last week, identified 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice by Trump but he did not find that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
The report has divided Democrats, with several clamoring for impeachment, notably White House candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., while others argue such a step is futile with the GOP controlling the Senate. Several Democrats maintain that impeachment would embolden Trump and his Republican backers ahead of the 2020 election.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Rachael Bade, Karoun Demirjian, Jacqueline Alemany ·