House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Democrat lawmakers in a conference call Monday that caucus leaders have no immediate plans to impeach President Donald Trump following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, according to a report.
The Washington Post, citing three officials on the call, reports that lawmakers were told to pump the brakes on ousting the president and instead focus on their respective committee investigations to “see where they lead.”
The Post reports:
Even House Financial Services Chairman Maxine Waters, who last week warned that “Congress’ failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms,” did not push the matter. Instead, the California Democrat, a vocal Trump critic who is probing the president’s business practices before he won the 2016 election, made a point of clarifying that she is not pressuring lawmakers to join her effort.
The development comes after Pelosi cautioned House Democrats on bringing impeachment proceedings ahead of the Monday evening strategy session to discuss Mueller’s findings.
Pelosi wrote in a letter to caucus members hours before the 5:00 p.m. call: “While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth. It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the President accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”
“As we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional needed reforms to protect our democracy, we must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact,” she added.
The call comes as Democrats remain divided on whether to seek the president’s removal based on the special counsel’s findings described in his 448-page report released last Thursday. The Justice Department report specifies the inner workings of the two-year Russia investigation and details how Team Mueller uncovered no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Some progressive Democrats — including 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — expressed support for impeachment, citing the special counsel’s findings. However, their pledge puts them at odds with top House Democrats such as Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). Appearing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Nadler said he believed the findings could be grounds for impeachment if obstruction of justice by the president was provable.
Speaking to reporters at the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll Monday, President Trump said he “not even a little bit” worried about impeachment.
“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment,” the president tweeted earlier Monday. “There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!”