House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared rattled after being pushed by reporters to give a straight answer about the chaos in her conference surrounding impeachment.
As IJR previously reported, Speaker Pelosi has been hesitant to openly support impeachment even though more than 100 members of her Democratic House conference support moving forward. The speaker has explained that she believes the issue is too divisive for Democrats to pursue without having “all the facts.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller found in his investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign that there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy with Russia and declined to prosecute on obstruction of justice.
Still, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has pushed for further investigations, including an impeachment inquiry. As IJR reported earlier, Nadler’s committee voted Thursday morning to formally start the impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi has stated that she supports Nadler’s inquiry, but has refused to say whether she would bring it to the House floor, leaving many unsure of where she stands.
During her press conference on Thursday, Pelosi was bombarded with questions about whether she would “concede” that she supports the inquiry — and she wasn’t happy about it.
Watch Pelosi’s response:
“Do I concede now? Have you not paid attention to what we’ve been talking about? For months, we’ve been saying we’re doing three things: We’re legislating. Do you want me to go over our 200 days of legislation leading up to now and even what we did this week to protect our environment? We are legislating, we’re investigating, as six committees have been doing for months. […] And third, we are litigating. We are taking the work of the committees into the courts. […] 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 in their investigation, and I salute them for that work.”
Immediately after, she was hit with a follow-up question addressing the mixed messages she has been giving about impeachment.
“Is the specific language not important?” one reporter asked. Pelosi quickly turned it back on the press, claiming that they’re the only ones confused by her position.
Reporters quickly pointed out that’s “not true” because her own members are unclear about her position. Pelosi denied that her story has been changing on impeachment.
“They understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure, but 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 of us getting the facts and make our decision when we’re ready. That’s the only thing I’m going to say about the subject and there’s nothing different from one day to the next.”
From there, Pelosi made it clear she would not be entertaining any other questions on the issue.
“I have said what I’m going to say on the subject. That’s it,” said Pelosi, replying to all follow-ups by saying, “Next question on any other subject?”