House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not clarify whether or not the Judiciary committee’s investigation into President Trump constitutes a formal impeachment investigation, as confusion stirs amongst her members.
“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 their investigation. And I salute them for that work,” Mrs. Pelosi said.
“That’s all I’m going to say on the subject and there’s nothing different from one day to the next,” she added.
However, the top-ranking Democrat notably avoided using the I-word to describe the ongoing investigation like several Judiciary members, including Chairman Jerry Nadler, have.
Rather, she doubled down on the argument she’s been using for months — impeachment is a possibility but six committees need to finish the investigations that have been ongoing for months first.
“Impeachment is a very divisive measure, but if we have to go there, we’ll go there. But we can’t go there unless we have the facts,” she added.
Since the Judiciary committee announced new rules — which passed in committee Thursday morning — to govern their investigation, Democrats have been offering a variety of descriptions on what work is being done.
Judiciary members call it an impeachment investigation and argue it’s been ongoing for a while. Others either don’t consider it a formal impeachment investigation or believe the committee is just starting to craft one.
Even senior members of leadership have offered mixed messages on the investigation.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer directly contradicted Chairman Jerry Nadler and other Judiciary Democrats on Wednesday when he told reporters he didn’t consider the ongoing work to be an impeachment inquiry. Instead, he believed that would being after the full House authorizes it or
Meanwhile, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries embraced the phrase “impeachment investigation” on Thursday, though he avoided using the phrase at a press conference the day before.
Despite the mixed signals, top Democrats are pushing to get passed what they describe as a simple issue of semantics and remained focuses on the substance of the investigation or their legislative agenda.
Mrs. Pelosi did the same, after growing frustrated with several questions on the impeachment investigation term, and urged reporters to consider the gun control debate.
“Why don’t we spend some time going over to Mitch McConnell and asking him why he doesn’t want to save lives,” she said. “Why is it you’re hung up on a word over here when lives are at stake over there?”
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