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Despite Mounting Talk of Impeachment, Pelosi Says She Feels 'No Pressure' to Start Proceedings
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20 Jun 2019 02:01 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Nancy Pelosi (Image source: Screenshot)

 

It can't be an easy position for Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to be in. She may have thought she had the world by the string once she became House speaker again, as everyone had a pretty good idea of what Donald Trump had been up to, but once she tried to hold his feet to the fire, he refused to sit still.

 

House Democrats have launched so many inquiries, requests, and subpoenas at Trump, his campaign, his businesses, his finances, his family, and his administration, but the president boldly ignores them and instructs others to as well. 

This leaves Pelosi in quite a quandary because Trump's actions, coupled with former special counsel Robert Mueller's report, have Democrats, and one Republican, increasingly demanding she start impeachment proceedings.

 

As speaker, she is caught between a rock and a hard place. If she moves to impeach, and the GOP-controlled Senate doesn't back that up, Trump and his supporters feel even more emboldened heading into the 2020 election, and people will be blaming her. 

However, if she doesn't do anything, and the House investigations and subpoenas fail to pick up any traction, she'll again be blamed, and voters will show her how much they disagree at the polls.

 

Yet, she continues to straddle the line and insists, "I feel no pressure" to begin impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, Trump continues to taunt her, exclaiming on Fox News that she hands out subpoenas "like they're cookies." 

"I feel no pressure from my members to do anything, and I have no pressure on them to do anything," Pelosi said at a Christian Science Monitor-hosted breakfast. This is despite additional Democrats jumping on the impeachment bandwagon.

 

She doesn't want to make that move unless she sees the support from both Democrats and Republicans. "I don't think you should have an inquiry unless you're ready to impeach," she explained. "It can't be the Democrats impeaching in the House, Republicans exonerating in the Senate." 

Even the majority of House Democrats aren't supporting impeachment at this point, and the voting public isn't overwhelmingly supporting it either. 27 percent of Democratic voters who were polled feel there is enough evidence to begin proceedings, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. 48 percent believe Congress should avoid impeachment hearings.

 

It puts not just Pelosi, but others facing reelection in 2020, in peril. "I come to this decision after much deliberation, and I know deeply what this means for our democracy," said Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), who is facing reelection next year, when she called for proceedings to begin. 

"I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution," she added.

 

Pelosi also doesn't support acting to censure the president. "Censure is just a way out. If you're going to go, go. If the goods are there, you must impeach," she said. She feels that censure wouldn't be "commensurate with the violations of the Constitution, should we decide that's the way to go." 

But instead of being grateful, Trump went in for the attack in his interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News on Wednesday night, telling the host that the House speaker "hands out subpoenas like they're cookies," while former speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was more cautious with the role.

 

"The Democrats fight a dirtier fight. It's too bad," he said, although it's unknown what he sees dirty about issuing legal subpoenas to appear before Congress. 

This is after the White House used every trick in the book to prevent former communications director Hope Hicks from testifying in a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

 

They used executive privilege on the notes she took at Trump's request and said she was "immune" from answering questions, despite the fact she admitted to the House Intelligence Committee over a year ago that she told "white lies" to help Trump when she worked for him in the White House. 

It seems unlikely that we'll just continue in this manner until Election Day 2020. One of these two sides if going to have to break.

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